What Is the History of the Modern Furnace?


One of the most basic and essential means for human survival is staying warm because without it, especially during the most brutal winters, our bodies cannot thrive. Thanks to technology advancing with home heating equipment, nowadays, home comfort is obtainable with just the flip of a switch. From creating fire by just rubbing two sticks together to embracing the warmth of an electric furnace, our experts at Mount Washington Heating & Cooling explain how we got to the point of advanced home heating technology.

When Was the Radiator Invented? 

Initially created in Rome, the hypocaust was developed as a concept similar to the radiator. However, in 1855, the modern-day radiator was invented by a man named Franz San Galli. The same year, Dave Lennox furthered the development of home heating by making the coal-burning cast-iron radiator. Typically, this equipment was placed and installed in basements to send heat upstairs to circulate throughout the entire house.

When Was Electric Heat Discovered?

Finally, in 1822, residential electric heating was invented. Moving a bit forward, an American metallurgist Albert Marsh discovered the metal contained chrome. This discovery allowed him to form a heating element that was way stronger than what was available at that time. Electricity was converted to heat by Marsh’s discovery enabling electrical currents to cross through the heating element. Although we have advanced in our heating technology over the years, Marsh’s original concept has not changed very much, labeling him as “The Father of the Electrical Heating Industry.”

When Was the Central Heating System Created? 

At long last, 1919 came, and Alice Parker created the first-ever patented central heating system, which allowed warm air to regulate and distribute evenly around the home. From that point on, home heating drastically changed. 

When Was Distributed Forced Air Established? 

After the invention of the first patented central heating system, the foundation for the forced air wall furnace was now in the works and was officially invented in 1935. This piece of equipment worked by distributing heat throughout the home through ductwork, allowing it to exit through air registers. Although this was a massive game-changer for conventional heating at the time, gravity was not a friend. Gravity caused the heated air to fall back and return to the furnace, restarting the home heating process over again. 

What Advantage does the Modern Day Furnace Have?

Nowadays, we are very fortunate to have the advantage of modern-day furnaces in our households. However, air-dropping back into residential gravity-fed furnaces, resulting in continuous, insufficient heating cycles, was a huge issue. To better circulate heat throughout homes, the motor-driven fan was created. This allowed forced air to pass through smaller ducts and farther to reach rooms in the house. As a result, heated air can properly distribute and circulate throughout the entire home and filter through registers and vents. 

All in all, residential furnaces and heating systems have advanced tremendously over the years. If it weren’t for the progress of this modern technology, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the optimal comfort and luxury we have in our homes today. Even with advancements of having total temperature control from your smartphone or the modernization of thermostats, you can see how residential heating was traced back the past couple of decades and implemented into the technology we use today. If you have questions or concerns about your furnace or are looking for an upgrade, you can always rely on the friendly, knowledgeable heating experts at Mount Washington Heating & Cooling. Give us a call today at (513) 655-5115, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!

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