White-Rodgers sells a variety of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts for HVAC use, consisting not only of thermostats but replacement parts, such as gas valves and ignition modules. Thermostats are the company's primary product, though it also manufacturers devices such as humidifiers and air purifiers. The company is part of Emerson Electric Company's (NYSE: EMR) Climate Technologies unit, which posted $3.8 billion in sales in fiscal 2008. Based in St. Louis, White-Rodgers employs more than 2,200 people.
In 1936, a small group of engineers from Emerson Electric developed a hydraulic-action control device for use in thermostats, stacks and other HVAC applications. The following year, the group formed Missouri Automatic Controls, which would come to be known White-Rodgers Electric, named for principal engineers Jim Rodgers and Chesterfield White. Before World War II, the company focused on hydraulic controls. But manufacturing was diverted during the war toward production of temperature and pressure controls and servomechanisms for the Armed Services. When the war ended, all military production was canceled because the boom in residential construction and availability of natural gas for heating caused a heightened call for domestic space heating equipment and primary controls for oil burners and domestic clothes dryers. White-Rodgers was acquired by Emerson in 1961, and in 1987 the company became the first HVAC manufacturer in the United States to be agency certified to ISO 9001 standards.
White-Rodgers offers a complete line of programmable, nonprogrammable and mechanical thermostats led by its Blue line, including single-stage, multi-stage and line voltage models. Products also include air cleaners, humidifiers and zoning system tools, such as actuators and control panels. Valves, switches and relays are among the replacement parts the company offers as well.
White-Rodgers' thermostats come with varying warranties, depending on the model. The Blue line comes with a five-year warranty, while other models have warranties ranging from one to three years. Replacement parts come with a one-year warranty.