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The Development Of The Modern Furnace

The Development Of The Modern Furnace

The times we are in are incredible. Over the last century, particularly the last several decades, the amount of information has multiplied dramatically. At the same time, the HVAC sector has made some amazing strides. But have you ever considered how we got here? How did people in ancient times stay warm? Let’s examine the furnace’s historical antecedents.

It’s Never Been Easy To Stay Warm

The Development Of The Modern Furnace

The ability to stay warm during the coldest months of the year has always been essential to human life. Our forefathers relied on open fires or fireplaces that burned wood to stay warm for the majority of human history. If you were even a short distance from these fires, you would immediately become cold again.

Enter The Radiator In 1855

The Romans introduced the hypocaust, a form of radiator for generating space heat, in 15 AD. The current heating radiator, however, was created by Franz San Galli somewhere around 1855. a Russian businessman of Polish descent residing in St. Petersburg. With his inexpensive coal-burning cast iron radiators, Dave Lennox contributed to the advancement of household heating in 1885. These radiators helped to distribute heat throughout a house by using natural convection, which relies on the physics of rising heat. Radiators, which are often put in the basement, gave homeowners a greater chance to keep more of the house warm above the heater.

The Bunsen Burner, 1855

This apparatus was created in 1855 by German scientist Dr. Robert Bunsen for use in the lab at the University of Heidelberg. It was the first open flame to generate heat without soot and to carefully combine gas and air before to combustion. This “fuelled” the advancement of heating systems that use gas, propane, and oil. This technology is still in use today in some contemporary heating systems in the form of pilot lights.

Thomas Edison And The Beginning Of The Electric Age, 1882

The first of electric heat occurred in 1882. In 1905, Albert Marsh created the metal chrome, which made it possible to create a heating element that was 300 times stronger than similar products on the market. Marsh’s heaters passed electrical current through this metal heating element, turning electricity into heat. Marsh is frequently referred to as the “father of the electrical heating industry.” The production process for electrical heating technology hasn’t altered much over the years.

First Central Heating System: 1919

The Development Of The Modern Furnace

The first American central heating system was created and patented by Alice Parker in 1919. Due to its improved capacity to control temperatures and more effectively disperse heat throughout a home, this gadget put a stop to the practice of families huddling around the fireplace to remain warm.

Distributed Forced Air, 1935

The first coal-fueled, electric fan and ductwork-distributed forced air wall furnace were made possible thanks to Parker’s idea. Through the use of ducts, the heat from the furnace was transported to the air, allowing it to rise to the rooms above the furnace where it was released through registers. The air would then gravitationally return to the furnace to be heated once more. Sadly, a gravity fed system needed ducts with a high diameter, which led to basements being stuffed to the gills with ductwork.

The Contemporary Furnace

Motor-driven fans, which propel warm air via tiny, condensed, rectangular ducts to even the farthest rooms in a building, were the answer to gravity-fed furnaces. Through registers or grilles, the heated air is released, and then through a cold-air return system, it is brought back to the furnace to be heated and circulated once more. The gas burner and the blowers that circulate the hot air are both activated by thermostats that measure temperatures.

The Development Of The Modern Furnace

The air can be cleansed and circulated via a filter before being re-inducted into the system, improving interior air quality, which is another benefit of forced-air heating.

A coil linked to the right refrigeration compressor transforms the system into a cooling system if the ducting is the right size.

These forced-air furnaces have become increasingly efficient over time, are now able to be managed remotely, and can even be programmed with artificial intelligence to provide your family with the best possible level of comfort.

As you can see, the designs used to create modern house heating systems date back hundreds of years. Today, you only need to be within reach of the thermostat or even a smartphone to have safe, effective heat.

A Financial Commitment That Pays Off

Which is more important: saving money or protecting the environment and providing year-round comfort for your family?

By making the investment in a contemporary, effective heating and cooling system, you can save a ton of money on energy costs and ongoing HVAC repair cost.

The Development Of The Modern Furnace

What do you think?

Written by HVAC Contributor

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