Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Brief History of HVAC Systems

HVAC doesn’t always mean air conditioning. In fact, the acronym stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning”, which covers everything related to controlling thermal comfort. HVAC systems have come a long way since their inception, and this blog post will delve into several main points of HVAC history.

1000s-1400s – During this period, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians all churned up pioneering heating and cooling solutions. One notable invention was the Roman hypocaust, which is a central heating system consisted of a furnace in a basement that distributed heat throughout homes. By the 1400s, chimneys were pretty common. It is also known that Leonardo Da Vinci once built a water-driven fan to ventilate several rooms during that time.

1500s-1800s – During the 1500s, ventilating machines were extensively used in French mines to direct fresh air into the shaft. The U.S. House of Parliament also had a crude ventilation system to cool the building during sessions. By the 1800s, Benjamin Franklin introduced the world’s first stove, which also happened to be the first steam heating system.

1900s – Furnace systems with centrifugal fans, as well as high-pressure steam heating, were extensively used during this time. On the cooling side, it was mainly about Willis Carrier, the inventor of the modern air conditioner. Carrier’s invention resulted into numerous other innovations, much of which are still in use today.


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