Since prehistoric days, when people gathered around a fire in the dead of winter, humans have sought ways to keep warm. How have those ways evolved over the centuries? How have they led to the technologies that heat our homes today? Let’s take a look at the history of furnaces.
History of Furnaces
Among the first to develop central heating were the ancient Romans. They introduced radiant floor heating by building a fire in the basement, which would heat the stone floor above it. And since hot air rises, the heat from the floor would soon spread to the rest of the house.
The first heating sources used wood for fuel. This included the Franklin Stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1741. Made of cast iron, it was designed to produce more heat than a regular fireplace, with less exhaust.
Then in 1885, a new furnace was developed, which burned coal, which replaced wood as the standard. It produced more heat and used a system of ducts in the basement to transport that heat to the rest of the home. Then in 1919, Alice Parker invented the first modern central heating system. It replaced coal with natural gas, and distributed heat evenly throughout the home using a system of pipes.
Today’s furnace designs have come a long way since then. Top furnaces can operate with over 98% efficiency, providing more heat for less energy. Zoning systems now allow you to heat each part of the house according to its individual needs. Some can even sense whether or not a space is occupied, so you don’t pay to heat empty rooms. And smart thermostats let you adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere, via your mobile device.
There are a variety of amazing features available on today’s furnaces. When buying a new system, make a list of your home’s heating needs and talk to an HVAC expert to find the furnace that’s right for you.
To learn more about the history of furnaces, and tips for furnace buying, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve Broken Arrow’s HVAC needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.