Heated and cooled air often gets taken for granted. Yet it wasn’t all that long ago that heating and air conditioning systems were luxuries instead of standard amenities in homes across America. Keep reading to learn more about the history of HVAC systems and how to take care of the one in your Baltimore, MD home.

The Beginning of Interior Cooling Systems

Air conditioning made its first debut way before electricity appeared. Interior cooling, created by John Gorrie, had a single purpose: to serve as a disease remedy. Gorrie believed that indoor cooling would help prevent the spread of disease while also helping those with diseases stay more comfortable, thereby improving the recovery and healing process.

Putting Ice in Hospital Rooms

The first interior cooling system transported overly large blocks of ice into hospital rooms. As you can imagine, the logistics of this process were unrealistic. So, Gorrie experimented with refrigeration and horsepower and came up with the idea for the ice maker.

The Creation of AC Systems

Willis Carrier invented the first actual AC system in 1902. It measured 20 feet long and had a height of 7 feet and a width of 6 feet. Fun fact, the term “air conditioning” was first used by an engineer named Stuart Cramer.

An entire room housed the unit. After the first indoor AC made its debut, it wasn’t long until theaters and corporations across the country wanted cooling systems.

The Beginning of Interior Heating Systems

Interior heating began long before interior cooling. Regardless of where a person lives, it’s pretty simple to create indoor heat with a fireplace. History reveals that Neanderthals used fires inside structures as far back as 44,000 BCE to stay warm.

Underfloor Heating

Throughout the centuries, technological advancements have made it easier, safer, and more convenient to stay comfortable with indoor heating. Ancient history reveals that around 1,000 BCE, communities used Korean Ondols to produce underfloor heating. The heat was then absorbed by a masonry floor and distributed throughout the home to keep it warm.

Around 500 BCE, advancements in interior cooling resulted in the development of hypocausts. The Romans used them to warm up the more important rooms of a building, especially the bathing areas. During that time, homes and community buildings were built on pillars. The fires would produce heat that rose through the spaces in the walls and between the floors.

As the smoke from the heat and fire would rise, it would make its way to the pipes or chimneys and out of the structures. Doing so made it possible to heat a home with little concern for harmful air pollution.

The Creation of Steam and Electric Heat

Fast forward to the 12th century, and you’re introduced to the invention of the chimney. Five centuries later, in the 17th century, stoves made an appearance. The 19th century brought about the invention of heat, created by steam and electricity.

Traveling back to the modern day, you see that most of today’s homes and building structures use advanced heating systems. The type of system that works best for interior heating depends on the fuel source. The most common types of fuel are electricity, gas and oil.

The Benefits of Modern Heating

Modern interior heating systems allow homeowners to automate their heating schedules. Thermostats and sensors attached to an HVAC system will alert you when more heat is needed and shut down when the temperature rises above your preferred comfort level. With this automation, homeowners no longer have to manually light fires.

HVAC systems have only been around for over a century. To keep the one in your home operating at peak efficiency, make sure to contact our team at Griffith Energy Services today and schedule a maintenance appointment. Proper maintenance is essential if you want to keep your heating and cooling costs down and extend the life of your HVAC system.

Image provided by iStock

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