Central air conditioning and heating are something many people take for granted, you don’t notice it’s gone until you’re left shivering in the living room waiting for the heater to turn on. Comfort heating is not a new concept, in fact, fixed central heating dates back as far as 2500 B.C. Ancient humans used various hearths, stoves, fireplaces, and underfloor systems to heat their homes. These systems were often crudely made from stone or clay bricks, but as time passed, Holland and Germany became the epicenters for iron stove manufacturing. As Dallas heater repair experts, Air Force One Air Conditioning decided to research more into this topic to provide our readers with more interesting facts about the early home heating.
1. Ancient Romans Invented the First Radiant Heating Systems
What many Americans today might view as a modern luxury was actually invented in 1300 B.C. The first radiant heating appeared in the Middle East installed by King Arzawa. Around 80 B.C., Romans brought the technology into their cities using a system designed by a Roman named Sergius Orata. The system was called a Hypocaust; a name derived from Ancient Greek hypo meaning “under” and caust meaning “burnt.” The floor was built on raised stone pillars over a large furnace. Later the fire was moved outdoors and tile flues that easily conducted heat were built to vent the hot air into the rooms. These systems were often only built in wealthy Roman homes, but the most notable use of the comfort heating system was in public bathhouses between 10 B.C and 324 A.D.
2. Germans Are Credited with the First Warm-Air Heating System
Today, warm-air heating systems use natural gasses to heat up our homes, but the first historical records of warm-air systems date back to thirteenth-century Germany. City records indicate the Luneberg city hall had a central heating system that used 3 furnaces to heat the building. Round ducts ran from the furnace room to the city hall rooms and opened up underneath the seats. Later, the industrial revolution became the catalyst for warm-air system advancements and by 1820 hot-air heating systems were installed in most large American institutional buildings.
3. Natural Gas was Originally Used to Light Homes
The natural gas we use to heat our homes wasn’t always used for that purpose. In fact, natural gas was first commercially used to light streets and homes in the 1800s. Just as the industrial revolution spurred advancements in hot air heating systems, it too also became a catalyst for the use of natural gas as a means to light streets and homes. Prior to the industrial revolution, workdays began and ended with the rising and setting sun. As more manufacturing companies placed emphasis on increasing production, workdays became longer. Factories often ran on a 24-hour work schedule; factory workers started working night shifts and cities needed a form of public lighting for the streets and walkways. While no longer commercially used, gaslighting can still be seen in historic districts in cities like Boston and Cincinnati.