What Is the History of the Modern Furnace?

Mar 11, 2022 | Blog, Centerville, Heating, HVAC, OH, Ohio, Winter

Warmth has always been necessary for human survival. From simple fires to the Roman hypocaust, humanity has always found various ways to survive. Today we are discussing the progression of the modern furnace’s history. So get comfortable, and join your Centerville Heating & Cooling service professionals as we dive into the details of furnace history.

When Did Furnace History Start?

It all started in Rome and the use of the complex aqueducts. This system allowed the Romans to enjoy hot water in their baths. However, the famous aqueducts required a lot of labor and large amounts of wood to be burned to create enough steam to heat the water in the rooms located above them. As a result of this innovative system, the Romans also used this same concept to heat the floors in the rooms above, which is the system we know today as the hypocaust.

When Did Fireplaces & Stoves Come Into Play?

After the Roman Empire fell, the aqueduct system was abandoned and replaced by the earliest versions of what we know today as the fireplace and stove. In 1624, the grate and fireplace were created. This combination allowed for warm air to be circulated throughout a room. While this was a step in the right direction because of the permitted grate for better air circulation control, the ability to control the heat source was still challenging. The fire had to be constantly frequently stoked.

When Was the Radiator Created?

In the 1880s, many homes started to use boilers that ran on coal. This was an excellent progression! Dave Lennox then furthered this by inventing coal-burning cast iron radiators. He also developed the early duct system, which enabled even heat distribution. Unfortunately, coal still had to be kept stoked and well-heated. The system had not been perfected at this time but was absolutely a huge milestone in furnace history!

When Was Central Heating Established?

In 1919, Alice Parker invented and patented the first central heating system. This made way for people to regulate the temperature in their homes easily. Parker’s invention was a game-changer for the home heating system from then on.

When Was the Convection Heater & Heat Pump Created?

The convection heater is a space heater that surfaced in the 1920s. The introduction of electricity paved the way for the convection heater to emerge. Its hot water and steam coals allowed the early models to pull cold air inward, heated it, and then distributed the now-warm air outward. Today, the heat pump is a more common electrical-based heating system to use. The heat pump’s origins are traced back to the 1940s. However, popularity increased in the 80s when the oil crisis hit and people moved away from fossil fuel usage.

What Are the Advantages WIth Modern Furnaces?

Progression consistently pushed itself forward throughout furnace history as technology improved and was perfected. As a result, today, we benefit from the advantages of the modern central heating system. Interestingly enough, if you look at how current systems function, you can tell where the original concept dates back to the Romans’ first system.

We now enjoy the luxury of smart thermostats and the convenience of controlling our smartphones’ temperature and settings. Furnace history has sure come a long way! If you are experiencing issues with your current heating system or suspect you have an older furnace that may need to be replaced, please don’t hesitate to contact Centerville Heating & Cooling today. We will do our best to send one of our NATE-certified technicians out to your home as soon as possible! Call  (937) 353-1169, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!