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  • Writer's pictureKennedy Air Conditioning

The History of In-Home Heating


What would it have been like to live like our ancient brothers and sisters, when the sun was the only form of heat? Fire would have been a nice step up, but still, cave-living doesn’t sound all that pleasant. Thank goodness that our options have changed, from the method of heating to the abodes we now have to choose from, as well.

Have you ever wondered about the history of heating? Let’s start with the 12th century, whenearly chimneys began to develop. Before that particular point in history, smoke from an in-home, controlled fire would fill the space with smoke, which would slowly escape through a small hole in the roof or wall.

Unfortunately for our ancestors, chimneys didn’t become common until the 16th century, and even then, they weren’t streamlined into an efficient smoke-free method of heating until through the 18th century when scientists began to truly understand how heat works.

In the 1740s, Benjamin Franklin helped modernize the chimney by inventing the Pennsylvania Fire Place and later, the Franklin stove. The stove was a metal-lined fireplace equipped with rear baffles for improved airflow. America kept up with derivatives of Franklin’s work until the late 1880s.

At that time low cost cast iron radiators were invented and more readily available to bring central heating to homes. The system usually included a coal fired boiler in the basement, which delivered hot water or steam to radiators spaced throughout the house.

Also, the first riveted-steel coal furnace was built in the early 1900s, although in the beginning, the system did not have fans and electricity to circulate the air. Thus, the early versions used convection – warm heated air rising – through ducts from the basement furnace and above to control the temperature.

In the mid 19th century gas and oil fired forced air furnaces became the norm, meaning homeowners no longer had to ‘stoke the coal fire,’ that was previously necessary to warm homes. Progress since then abounds. HVAC systems have gone through intense development in the last half-century. The invention of high pressure heating systems and even the use of solar power as a power source mark a couple of the many strides forward.

Research and change doesn’t stop there. History is always on the move, and who knows what tomorrow will bring for the future of home heating. For more information on the latest and greatest heating systems, contact your professionals at Kennedy AC in the Little Rock, AR area!

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1 Comment

Mar 28, 2023

Earlier, coals are mostly used for heating purposes but the advancement in technology nowadays HVAC units are the replacement of it. Now, people call hvac contractors to install such units in their homes to keep themselves warm in winter and cool in summer.

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