Learning the Fascinating History of Your Home's Heating System

The Origins of Central Heating

There is no better time to learn about the history of central heating systems than when every homeowner relies on them most, especially in the wintertime. It is hard to imagine living without central heating, but surprisingly enough, it is a relatively new invention. We all know the history of harvesting heat for survival started with cavemen millions of years ago with the discovery of fire. Since then, every generation of humans after that has aimed to improve upon the earlier heating methods.

Notable advancements in heating systems happened in the 13th century with the Greeks and later, in the 18th and 19th centuries when British engineers worked to create a true central heating system, which had never been so elaborate as to heat up an entire house.

Were the Romans Responsible for its Invention?

Contrary to popular belief, the Romans didn’t actually invent central heating! Central heating was first developed in Ancient Greece, and their version was called a hypocaust system. It consisted of ducts supported by columns underneath the buildings’ floors, which enabled various fuels like charcoal to be burned in the chambers. The heat from the combustion was then able to travel throughout the house, thus, heating multiple rooms simultaneously.

The Romans popularized this heating method, however, and with the fall of the Roman Empire, the hypocaust system was also quickly forgotten. In the following centuries, the fireplace became more popular despite its limitations.

The Modern Radiator Revolutionized Heating Systems

The 1700s and 1800s witnessed a boom of engineering creations that aimed to heat homes better. In the beginning, the British engineer William Strutt created one of the first furnaces, which was able to both heat buildings and clean the air. Then, James Watt created the first boiler system using high-pressure steam circulating in pipes placed around his house.

All of these discoveries led to the creation of the first modern radiator in the 1850s by Franz San-Gilli, which ultimately enabled all these elements of central heating to come together. This discovery is largely debated because there were other people who also worked on perfecting the first radiator, but ultimately, San-Gilli filed for the patent. Nevertheless, the work of all of these inventors was necessary for us to get where we are now in our heating journey.

Thermostats: The Final Piece of the Puzzle

Thermostats are actually a crucial part of any heating system because they maintain a steady temperature in people’s houses, saving energy and money in the long run. This invention also came along in 1830, during the central heating boom, and was patented by Andrew Ure in 1830.

This invention did not gain popularity right away, and it took two other creative minds, Warren Johnson and Albert Butz, to innovate and improve it. Johnson created the electric thermostat while Butz went a step further and created a device that lets people adjust the temperature whenever they wanted to: freedom never seen before!

About Rosenthal Heating & Air Conditioning

Rosenthal Heating & Air Conditioning is a company located in Southeast Wisconsin that provides services like heater and air conditioning repairs. They have highly skilled technicians who are focused on delivering comfort above all to their customers and offer convenient financing options. Call Rosenthal Heating & Air Conditioning today for quality heating services in Burlington and Southeast Wisconsin.

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1000 Lotus Dr. Suite 8
Silver Lake, WI 53170
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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For Heat Pump repair in Kenosha WI, we accept Visa credit cards. For Heating repair in Burlington WI, we accept Mastercard credit cards. For Water Heater repair in Waterford WI, we accept Discover credit cards.
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