Invention of the Radiator Thermostat Turns 75

In 1943, the founder of Danfoss, Mads Clausen, invented the radiator thermostat. Seventy-five years later, the product is still relevant in a world trying to control the temperature.

In Europe alone, there are over 500 million radiators with manual and unregulated valves. If you installed radiator thermostats on them all, Europeans could save 12 billion euro and 130 TWh of energy every year. The upgrade would reduce the annual CO2 emissions in Europe by 29 billion tons, and the investment would pay for itself in just two years. That is according to a report from the European Building Automation Controls Association.

We are all familiar with them; maybe you even have one in your home. The radiator thermostat is the DNA of Danfoss and evidence that our technologies help the world do more with less.

“The first prototype of the world’s first radiator thermostat was tested in my father’s office. It was the birth of the world’s first thermostatic valve for controlling the temperature in a room. The actual marketing began in 1952, when the radiator thermostat was launched as a device that saves money and makes centrally heated rooms more comfortable, and from there on it just took off,” recounts Jørgen Mads Clausen, chairman of the board at Danfoss.

The product was patented and gave Danfoss a lead position when the company began mass production of the radiator thermostat. Since 1943, approximately 350 million have rolled off its production line. The latest version is the radiator thermostat Danfoss Eco, which has won the design awards Ret Dot and Danish Design Award.

“It is a strength for Danfoss to have been on the market for so many years, and there is an abundance of Danfoss DNA and cultural heritage in even our brand new electronic thermostats. Mads Clausen developed the leading technology in the temperature regulation and the intuitive turning motion of the thermostat that makes it so easy to use. That knowledge and technology have now been incorporated in all our new electronic thermostats. That way we keep up with trends in line with consumers’ wishes,” explains Anders Barkholt, vice president of Danfoss Radiator Thermostats.

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