People have been developing technology to hold off Jack Frost for centuries, and it’s a much more interesting history than you may realize. Here are some historical and informative facts about the way we heat our homes.
- The first method ever used for heating a home was burning wood in a fireplace; however, fewer than 15% of Americans use this method today.
- Natural gas was first used for heating by the Chinese around 500 BC. They used pipes made of bamboo shoots to transport the gas to the surface for use.
- While the Chinese were the first to use natural gas, the Romans were the first to create heated floors in their homes and other buildings. Called a hypocaust, this system included raising the floor on pillars and placing a furnace underneath. The stone tiles on top would conduct the heat, warming the floor in the process. While this method was ingenious, a lot of effort was required to maintain the fire.
- The first municipally-owned natural gas company was opened in Philadelphia in 1836. Still operating today, Philadelphia Gas Works is the largest public gas system in America.
- Ford Motor Company was the first to develop dash-mounted heating systems in vehicles. This began in 1933 in Ford’s V-8 models.
- Radiators were once built out of cast iron, making them incredibly heavy—around 500 lbs. per square foot.
- Natural gas, when leaking in your home, has the distinctive smell of rotten eggs. However, natural gas does not possess a natural odor of its own. This smell is added by energy companies so that a dangerous leak can be detected more quickly.
- Home heating accounts for an average of 30% of the total energy consumption for each household.
- If every gas pipeline in the United States was fused together, the total length would surpass the distance between Earth and the moon.
The next time you turn on your heat this winter, you can appreciate the strides man has taken to develop this wonderful technology.
If you’re in the market for a new home heating system or if you aren’t sure that yours is ready for the winter, the expert Houston AC technicians at Richmond’s Air offer numerous services to fit your needs.