There are times when you want to provide power to outdoor equipment in the wintertime. Block heaters for vehicles are a good example: The block heater is used to heat up the engine block of your vehicle so that when you start the vehicle, the engine is warm, the oil is still in a liquid state and the engine turns over more easily.
Roof cables are another product that you may need in the winter. Roof cables are installed on your roof to provide protection from ice damage that happens when ice builds up around the edges of your roofline.
Because our winter temperatures fluctuate, powering these products are not necessarily needed every day. How do you avoid using electricity when you don’t need it? There are times that the block heater may be plugged in but it is not cold enough to warrant using it and there are times that the roof cables will be heating even though temperatures rise above freezing. This wastes your hydro and increases your monthly electricity charges.
A solution to this problem is to use a device called a thermocube. The thermocube plugs into an outlet used for powering the equipment like a block heater or roof cables. When the temperature drops below a given set point, it allows the electricity to flow, and when the temperature comes back above it, it shuts off the flow of power.
- Set-point best for Block Heaters
Thermocubes are made with a variety of different temperature set-points. This allows you to choose the one that best suits your specific needs. The thermocube that comes on at -6°C is perfect for plugging in your block heater. When the temperatures rise above -1°C the flow of electricity is halted until temperatures plummet again.
- Set-point best for Roof Cables
Thermocubes work beautifully to save hydro on roof cables. When your electrician installs roof cables on your home to prevent ice dams from damaging your roof, it is best to plug the roof cables into a thermocube. The thermocubes with a set-point of 1°C works best for roof cables. This prevents ice from forming along the edge of your roof, but doesn’t waste electricity on mild days.