US Home Heating and Cooling Systems

A Background on U.S. Home Heating and Cooling Systems

Unravel How Home Heating and Cooling Systems Started in American Homes

During the first century, American home heating primarily relied on biomass or wood. It was only in 1885 when coal surpassed wood in heating homes. Before that, home heating and cooling systems were unheard of in the U.S. that was a country full of brick fireplaces reliant on wood,and spin-offs of the Franklin Stove cast iron that was launched back in 1742.


Before the 19th century ended, central heating made its debut in American residences with the launch of affordable cast iron radiators with a boiler fired by co allocated below your home that delivers steam or hot water to each room’s radiators. Meanwhile, Dave Lennox created and sold the first of its kind riveted steel coal furnace in the market in 1885. Since these early furnaces do not run on electricity or have built-in fans that facilitate air movement,heat moves by way of natural convection (the rising of heated air) via ductworks coming from the furnace in the basement to the various rooms of the house. Up until 1935, there were only these two home heating and cooling systems in place. Later on, the first ever forced air furnace that runs on coal as its heat source assisted by an electric fan in distributing warm air over the duct system all over the house started to gain popularity.



Not long after, forced air furnace operated by oil and gas is a welcome relief for homeowners who no longer want to burn coal fire to generate heat. It was then that cast iron radiators and coal furnaces became obsolete and later thrown away by most homeowners. Nowadays, as much as 60% of homes have forced air furnaces fired by gas while 9% are FAUs fired by oil. In places with relatively warmer temperature, they prefer to use electric “heat pumps” so that they can use it for both cooling and heating throughout the year. These home heating and cooling systems allow us to live safely and comfortably despite the changing of the seasons or extreme weather conditions.


Air Conditioning in U.S. Homes

Advancements in electricity influenced the evolution of home heating and cooling systems in the U.S. in transmitting energy to every home. The first electric power plant fired by coal was launched in the Big Apple back in 1882. It is capable of supplying sufficient power to ignite as much as 11,000 light bulbs that eventually rendered kerosene and gas lamps obsolete.


Schuller Wheeler also built the home cooling staple,electric fan, in 1886. Electric fans became the leading tool in cooling homes until the economic boom after the World War II.


Meanwhile, Willis Carrier built the first AC in 1902. ACs were instrumental in managing humidity issues within a printing organization at that time. Then, the first ever recorded theater that utilized an AC was launched in Montgomery, Alabama in 1917. To be specific, it was the New Empire Theatre. The following institutions soon became air-conditioned from 1928 to 1930, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Executive Office Building, the Senate, and the Department of Commerce.


Advancements in home heating and cooling systems keep on growing as the years pass. The country’s early“summer peaking” power plant fired by gas was built in 1942 to keep up with the increasing electrical load among commercial and industrial air conditioning during the day. But until the economic boom after the Second World War, home cooling systems remained to be something only the elite can afford.


By the 1950s, central AC systems and window units came out on the market. The sales of room air conditioners exceeded a million units by 1953. By the year 1998, heat pumps and room AC shipments reached an all-time high of 6.2 million devices sold.


Air conditioning is more influential than central cooling because its very existence managed to affect the migration and development of populations, as well as the making of building designs, in a major way. Wide eaves, high ceilings, and front porches became fewer with the increase of AC users, and they built more and more houses that have sliding glass doors and “picture” windows.As a whole, central AC and other cooling innovations, along with an affordable and rich supply of fossil fuels,no longer limited designers of buildings from concerns about the outside environment and enable them to apply efficient heating and cooling answers that’ll improve poor building designs that are not ideal for the local climate.With the help of air conditioning, many Sunbelt metropolis such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Houston, Miami and Atlanta grew to become powerful cities after World War II. These cities became what they are now because of the creation and continued patronage of home cooling systems. Furthermore, the very existence of air conditioning allowed all of us to shop 24/7 in big malls or gamble in casinos that have no windows making us lose our sense of time and place.


And now as a country, we spend more than 5% of our gas consumption in keeping our vehicles air conditioned as we travel from our cool residences to our equally air-conditioned workplaces and leisure areas. Around 20% of the power produced in America is used to making our homes and offices cool

How Air Condition Ventilation & Furnace Works - HVAC AC system diagram