A Short History of Indoor Heating

ventMany of us can’t comprehend living without central heating in our homes, and cringe when we have a need for emergency heating repair. Modern homes usually have a heating, ventilation, and a air conditioning system, known as HVAC; most homes have central heating which involves heat being generated in one place, like a furnace room, and the heat is distributed. The indoor heating systems we have today evolved over the centuries into something reliable, effective, and safe.

Early Heating Methods

Variations of central heating have been around since ancient Rome and Greece. The Greeks used a system call hypocaust: flues in the ground conducted warm air from furnaces into empty spaces in the floors and into pipes in the walls. The Romans and Muslims used similar systems, but when the Roman empire collapsed, the use of this heating system was lost. It wasn’t until a couple centuries later that the system was implemented again in abbeys and monasteries.

Fireplaces became the popular method of heating, but would often cause the house to be smokey and drafty, heating only the room the fire was in, and not the entire house. Smoke coupled with the cold drafty-ness of many houses, and lack of hygiene contributed to health issues. Though improvement to the fireplace developed other variations of central heating wouldn’t emerge until the circulating fireplace was invented in the early 1600s in France by Louis Savot; a hollow hearth would pull cold air from the outside and be warmed; the warm air escaping into the room through openings around the mantle.

Modern Central Heating

The three main types of central heating used today are hot air, steam, and hot water. In 1594, Hugh Platt suggested the use of steam for heating greenhouses, but the steam method wouldn’t be implemented until the 1700s by Scottish inventor James Watt, the first to put a working system in a house. Hot water systems were first implemented in Russia in Peter the Great’s summer home, but the radiator wouldn’t be invented until 1855 and became popular shortly after.

The use of a furnace heated air began in 1793 in England with William Strutts design for a mill building, and continued to gain popularity with Strutts and Charles Sylvester collaborative design for an infirmary. This design continued to gain popularity and implementation. Improvements to the heated air furnace continued over the years, with changes in heating fuel used and the invention of the thermostat in 1830. The system that we use today evolved from these early forms into the reliable, safe, effective, and efficient systems we have today.

Contact Us

Contact North Central Florida Air Conditioning, Inc., the best for heating maintenance and heating repair in Lake City and the surrounding areas. Our caring professionals, have the knowledge to help you with any problem you might have, and will give you a quote based on what you need. Get a free quote today and read about the history of air conditioning here!


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