What is the History of the Modern Furnace?

The History of the Modern Furnace

Keeping warm wasn’t always as easy as it is nowadays. There was once a time in history when centralized heating wasn’t around at all. So, how did folks do to survive and keep warm throughout brutal, cold winters? To get a better perspective of previous forms of heat generation, our experts at Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling shed some light on the subject:

Sitting Fireside 

Long before central heating, families struggled every year to keep warm throughout the brutal winter weather. At the time, the only possible way to stay warm was through wood-burning fireplaces or open fires. Unfortunately, this was not a very convenient or conventional heat source because it would not keep homes or families warm for very long, especially after the fire went out for the night. 

Development of Radiators and Bunsen Burners

After years of relying on fires to stay warm, in 15 AD, the Romans developed a type of radiator that generated space heat known as the hypocaust. Although the Romans weren’t responsible for the invention of the original radiator, with the assistance of Dave Lennox, Franz San Galli officially made the official radiator in 1855. This invention improved indoor heating by utilizing coal-fueled cast iron radiators. 

The year 1855 was booming with heating advancements. Not only was the first radiator invented, but so was the Bunsen Burner, created by German scientist Robert Bunsen. This heating technology was created when Bunson was making way for his laboratory at the University of Heidelberg to stay warm without soot and blend gas with air controlled before combustion. As a result, propane, oil, and gas-fired home heating equipment became in very high demand.

The Launch and Utilization of Centralized Heating 

A short time after the Bunsen Burner was produced, electric heat would be invented and introduced by none other than the “father of the electrical heating industry” himself, Albert Marsh. With the discovery of metal chrome in 1905, electricity would convert to heat by pushing electrical currents through thermal elements, making heating elements 300 times stronger than the standard equipment at the time. Following this, Alice Parker created the first American patented centralized heating system in 1919, now allowing homes to evenly distribute heat and regulate temperatures throughout the entire home.

Producing Forced Air Distribution  

Around this time, Gravity-fed heating systems were prevalent but unfortunately took quite a bit of ductwork in the basement to properly distribute heat throughout the home. Luckily, the development of the first coal-fueled electric fan and duct system simplified home heating for all. The electric fan pushes out forced heated air that distributes throughout the entire home, allowing all rooms to be heated evenly from just one heating unit.  

The Rise of Modern Furnaces and Smart Technologies 

Years of trial and error in residential heat development have finally led to the emergence of smart technologies and motor-driven fans. This is considered a more efficient form of residential heating because motor-driven fans push forced heated air through smaller, rectangular ducts systems for a better chance of evenly distributed temperatures. Additionally, you can now use thermostats to manage your entire home’s temperature and forced heat distribution, all from the click of a button. 

Heating equipment and technologies can be spotted anywhere, bringing optimal comfort to homes and businesses across the globe. However, it doesn’t mean they are always the most ideal heating solutions. So, if your furnace is giving you issues or needs entirely replaced because it is outdated, Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling is the local furnace repair and installation company for all your heating needs and services. Call us today at (740) 212-5849, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!

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