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Air conditioner (or any cooling machine) has mechanism/ability to pause cooling a room for a while. If this ability doesn't exist, the room will get very cold and could freeze anything in the room.

Is there a word or phrase for this mechanism?

  • Such things are typically called govenors or moderators. – Dan Bron Aug 1 '15 at 16:27
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Are you talking about a thermostat?

thermostat

/ˈθəːməstat/

noun

a device that automatically regulates temperature, or that activates a device when the temperature reaches a certain point.

Google Dictionary

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I'm not aware of one single name for the mechanisms, but things for keeping something constant often use the suffix -stat: thermostat, rheostat, haemostat, barostat, photostat.

The broader process or phenomenon is generally called regulation, though that can mean not only turning things on or off, but also turning them up and down; and it doesn't have to keep effects (e.g. room temperature) in a steady state, it can also gradually change them in a controlled manner. The word stabilize may also be useful to express some aspects of the idea.

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