For the first 100 years home heating in a heavily forested America was dominated by biomass (wood) and it was not until 1885 that the nation would burn more coal than wood. Prior to 1885 the majority of homes in America were heated with wood burning brick fireplaces and derivatives of the cast iron Franklin Stove invented in 1742.
By the end of the 19th century the invention of low cost cast iron radiators would bring central heating to America’s homes with a coal fired boiler in the basement delivering hot water or steam to radiators in every room. At about the same time, in 1885, Dave Lennox built and marketing the industry’s first riveted-steel coal furnace. Without electricity and fans to move air, these early furnaces transported heat by natural convection (warm heated air rising) through ducts from the basement furnace to the rooms above. These two methods would dominate home central heating until 1935, when the introduction of the first forced air furnace using coal as a heat source used the power of an electric fan to distribute the heated air through ductwork within the home.
In 1882, the first coal fired electric power plant opened in New York city delivering enough power to light 11,000 light bulbs and marking the beginning of the end for gas and kerosene lamps.
The heating and AC industry has certainly come a long way since the days of no temperature regulation. Let’s take a look at the history of both the air conditioning and heating industries.
Air Conditioning Units
In the early 1900s, the concept of air conditioning was still very primitive at best. Machines were invented that blew air over ice or cold coils to control room temperature and humidity, says Popular Mechanics. In 1902 Willis Carrier would build the first air conditioner to combat humidity problems inside a printing company and in 1917 the first documented theater to use air conditioning made its debut at New Empire Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama.
Between 1928 and 1930 the Chamber of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, the Executive Office Building, and the Department of Commerce would be air-conditioned.It wasn’t until the early 1930s that individual units were designed to sit on the ledge of a window, which soon grew in popularity — at least with the rich. This is because the units were large and expensive, not very accessible to the masses. With the approach of 1940 came the first air-conditioned car. When 1953 rolled around, residential air conditioners were becoming more available to everyday folks thanks to the prosperity enjoyed by the country after World War II ended, with one million AC units sold that year alone. The 1970s saw the emergence of central air conditioning, making this the coolest way to control temperature throughout a home. Today, central air is still the preferred method of temperature and humidity control.
The very first heating options available to man came about, of course, with the discovery of fire. Fire pits, them chimneys and hearths were the primary way of keeping a home warm, although there was no effective way to distribute that warmth.
The Industrial Revolution brought about the invention of the first gas metering system for residential use, but not until the 1920s did the oil-burning furnace first make its debut. Electric-powered furnaces gained in popularity not long after that. Fast forward to today and you’ll see that nearly eight million homes in this country are powered by heating oil, electric or gas fireplaces.
The future of heating and air conditioning is upon us. To learn about our latest offerings and services, call Morehart Air Conditioning and Heating today, 623-566-0005 or visit https://morehartac.com!