You use your HVAC system all the time, but what do you really know about it? Who invented it? What did people do before AC was invented? How have heating and cooling changed over time? Let’s look at the history of HVAC.
Ancient History of HVAC
In ancient Egypt, people hung wet reeds in their windows. As air flowed through, the moisture turned it into a cool breeze, creating the first swamp coolers. The Romans, meanwhile, invented ductwork. A network of tunnels, called a hypocaust, was placed underneath buildings and hot air was circulated through it.
In China, during the Han dynasty, mechanized rotary fans were used to separate grain from its husks. They soon realized they could use a similar device to circulate air through their homes.
Early History of HVAC
In 1742, Ben Franklin invented the Franklin stove, which produced more heat and less smoke than a fireplace. They remained standard for home heating until the 1880s and the introduction of the radiator, which warmed the air using steam from a coal-powered boiler.
The AC was invented in 1902. Looking for a way to control humidity in a publishing house, where moisture damaged magazine pages, Willis Carrier created the evaporator coil, which removes moisture from the air while simultaneously cooling it.
The first residential ACs came in 1914, taking up entire rooms and costing up to $50,000. It wasn’t until 1947, when they became smaller and cheaper, that they began to take off. By the 1960s, nearly every new home had central air.
Modern History of HVAC
New HVAC technology is being developed all the time. Variable-speed air handlers let you adjust the amount of air your home receives. Smart thermostats give you greater control over your home’s climate.
Most importantly, HVAC systems are constantly being made more efficient. With furnaces up to 97 AFUE and ACs up to 23 SEER, it’s easier than ever to reduce energy usage without sacrificing comfort, which in turn will lower both your bills and your carbon footprint.
Now that you know the history of HVAC, call Detmer and Sons to experience its future. We proudly serve all Dayton’s home-comfort needs.