History of the Furnace

A warm home is something we expect and rely on; but it hasn’t always been that way. The furnace as we know it today was developed over thousands of years and perfected within the last century. Even now, we’re constantly making improvements and incorporating new technology to better our heating systems. Today, we’re sharing a little history lesson, the history of the furnace.

Heated by Wood Fires

Believe it or not, there was a time in American history when people burned more wood than coal. Before any of the amenities we take for granted today, our ancestors had wood burning stoves to keep them warm. While it sounds like a nice idea to curl up and be warmed by a fire, what happens when you move a foot or two away? That’s right, you were cold again. Heating systems stayed this way until 1885.

Introducing Dave Lennox

One of the biggest advancements in furnace technology was made in 1885 by Dave Lennox. He developed a low-cost cast-iron radiator that most Americans could afford. These cast-iron radiators harnessed heat, making it one of the first devices to provide warmth to more than one room at a time. To this day, Lennox is still in business and manufacturing HVAC equipment. In fact, we offer Lennox equipment as an option to our customers.

America Needed More

Though cast-iron furnaces were the height of technology in 1885, times—and technology—change. Even with the radiator, many families were struggling to stay warm. In 1919, Alice Parker, an inventor, patented the first ever central heating system. She designed a furnace that was safer than most other heating systems and included ductwork that allowed heat to be evenly dispersed throughout a home. Unfortunately, Parker’s patent ran into some safety issues and it was never made. Despite this, her invention led to the first forced heater and changed the history of the furnace.

Heating as We Know It

Because of Parker’s invention and patent, the first forced heating system debuted in 1935. It was fueled by coal and featured an electric fan and ductwork. This system was the first wall furnace, and it changed everything. Gone were the days of huddling around a wood burning flame. Instead, whole homes could be comfortably heated with coal. As the years passed, and technology progressed, furnaces have come a long way. Now, they’re fueled by a wide variety of different sources and come in different shapes and sizes.

Is Your Furnace a Part of History?

Could your furnace be put into a history museum? If yes, then it’s a good time to call Moore Home Services. Our Diamond Certified HVAC technicians are ready to inspect your system and provide any fixes or solutions. Reach out to our friendly call center or fill out the form linked here.