People have been heating their homes for about as long as they’ve had what could reasonably be called a home. Even before that, hunter and gatherer tribes would use heat in what we might now refer to as campsites to stay warm during times of rest. While technology has come a long way, few people understand where heating really comes from.
Keep reading to learn more about the history of heat and how we’ve improved upon this natural concept over the years. You might be surprised at how technology has changed so rapidly, perhaps even in your lifetime!
The Early Days
Heat has always been used to shield oneself from the cold. In the very early days, outdoor fires were the number one way to stay warm. Today, we might refer to these as campfires, and if you’ve ever slept outside on a camping trip, you know how important they are when the temperature dips.
Later, people built hearths designed to control the heat of a fire and disperse it in a direction that was most useful to the residents of a home or occupants of a business. Wood stoves eventually replaced these, giving people even more control over their source of heat.
The Invention of Forced-Air Systems
Before electricity, forced-air systems, similar to the ones we have today, couldn’t even be imagined. Once electricity was in place, forced-air systems started to become a real possibility in the 1800s, allowing people to stay warm without being in front of a fire. However, the source of heat did still come from a fire, which would mean that these were radiant heat systems.
At the dawn of the 20th century, the furnace came into play and made heating a more cost-effective option in areas where temperatures were more moderate. The ease of installation was also a major issue since furnaces are much simpler to install than radiant heating, especially in the early 20th century.
In recent years, we’ve made significant improvements on the furnace. The first improvement that was so important for how we use modern heating was variable speed technology. This allows the furnace to run at higher or lower speeds to keep you comfortable in your home. Variable speed technology also means that you can run your furnace on low for a longer period of time, helping heat your whole home instead of just the areas nearest to the furnace.
Condensing technology has also made furnaces more efficient, allowing you to capture and use almost all of the heat that the furnace creates. This reduces waste and helps heat your home more efficiently.
Another important factor that’s really only been in play for a short period of time, at least when you’re talking about the entire history of heating, is the thermostat. Remote control from a central point has revolutionized the way we use heating technology, giving us access and precise control over how we want our homes to feel.
The thermostat might be taken for granted today, but it truly is a modern marvel compared to the old wood stove models of the 1800s.
Knowing your heat source and how it works can help you spot problems before they’re serious. When you do suspect that your heating system isn’t working right, reach for the phone and call the pros. Furnaces can be dangerous, and, if you’re not experienced, very difficult to fix.
Now is the perfect time to schedule a pre-winter inspection. Getting an inspection will ensure that your furnace is working to its maximum potential this cold season. Contact Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning today to guarantee that your heater will be ready to keep you warm during the (albeit few and far between) cold nights of winter.