Having an inquiring mind is a blessing from God. If you are a person who thinks of whys and hows and wheres and whens, congratulations! You are a good learner and a man of knowledge since those that inquire are those that explore. So, let’s come to the point. Have you ever wondered while looking at your Furnace or Fireplace how the people of olden times used to comfort themselves in cold weathers? If yes, it is the time to get your answer. Today, we shall explore the human history to figure out what were the ways that our forefather had used for heating their homes (or caves, yes).

Fire – The earliest ‘’home’’ heating tool

So our ancestors didn’t have the type of homes that we have today. They had caves and huts. Archeologists believe that the earliest form of home heating was the very fire which was created by rubbing stones and burning woods. This fire was set up in the inside of caves and huts with some kind of opening in the roof for the smoke to escape. Later on, this form improved a little and men of the time used stones and other types of dwellings to place that fire into and they were the fireplaces that heated their homes.

Fireplace, Hearths, Stoves and Underfloor systems – Who used them and how and when?

Humans throughout different cultures invented different schemes of central heating. Archeologists have excavated 2500 B.C. old fixed hearths in Greece. The Fireplace Heating (crude) is said to have been only 800 AD old. This type of crude fireplaces became the widely adopted home heating method in Europe in the 1400’s AD. The designs were improved and a circulating fireplace was first formed in 1600’s while a combustion air fireplace was introduced in 1700’s. Similarly, the history of stoves tells that first ever metal stove was made only after 1400’s. Germany and Holland became central manufacturers of these stoves.

Radiant Heating and how it evolved?

Radiant heating or underfloor heating is as old as 1300 BC. Later on, Romans improved this method in 80 B.C. and made systems that not only heated floors but also walls. The old radiant heating methods also called the hypocaust method used stone floor supported with pillars over a chamber that had fire at one end. The heat would radiate and made the floor and the indoor warm. This kind of hypocaust systems totally vanished after the fall of Roman Empire.

Steam Heating – How old is it?

So you know Boilers as the modern steam heaters. The history of Boilers isn’t much old. It is said that steam heating idea originated in 1745 in England. In 1790’s steam heating was already being used in residencies of its pioneers. Initially, it was used to warm factories and mills but later used to heat homes.

Forced air/fan system – When did it begin?

So we have come all the way long to forced air systems (one of which we use in our homes today; Furnace). The first ever fan/blower heating system was designed in 1735 for British parliament. Benjamin Franklin designed a heat exchanger and fan combination in order to suffice for cooling purpose in addition to sufficing for heating purpose.

Thermostats – Why were they invented?

By the 19th century, there were a number of central heating methods in use throughout different demographics but the matter of concern was controlling the warmth. So in the 1800’s several devices were introduced at the same time and can be considered the earlier forms of Thermostats. The latest form of Thermostats are the Smart Thermostats that use WiFi technology and make the heating system controllable from any location in the world while also offer a very precise temperature control and temperature scheduling.

Modern world and modern heating

After the 1920’s the world became more democratic than it was before and so did the heating. As a result, a mutual corporation of inventors, manufacturers, engineers made heating appliances cheaper, reliable and easily accessible. Forced Air Furnaces, advanced fixed Fireplaces, Baseboards, Boilers and other heating elements were introduced and are still being introduced.

This is how mankind has taken his long journey of central heating. And this journey continues as we look forward to even more advanced forms of heating. Bon Voyage fellow humans!

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