The Fascinating Evolution of Staying Warm

Ever since human beings first discovered how to start fires, keeping warm has been a priority for survival and comfort. Looking back at how heating has evolved is a fascinating journey that reveals the innovations of human beings. We no longer rely solely on woodburning fireplaces and stoves but have an array of options to heat the homes in Pierce and King counties, including some that demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment.

Roman Hypocaust

The first concept of central heating was developed by the Romans. Their hypocaust expanded upon the single woodburning fireplace to heat an entire room. Flues for the hypocaust were built into the walls and floors. As the exhaust from the fireplace moved to the chimneys through the flues, the heat warmed the entire room. While a brilliant advancement in home heating, hypocausts were eventually phased out because they could only be used in homes that were built of non-combustible products due to the risk of fires.

New Fuel Sources

Wood continued to be the only method for generating heat in homes until the 18th century when it was replaced with coal. In the 1940s, natural gas replaced coal, and in the energy crisis of the 1970s, heating system designs relied more on electricity. Today, though, most homes in Pierce and King counties continue to use natural gas. Woodburning fireplaces and stoves are still used, and coal is also still used in limited applications.

Air Distribution

One of the drawbacks of early furnace designs was that the systems relied on natural air current within the home to distribute warm air. Only the areas near the heat source were comfortable, yet people wanted to eliminate any cold spots in their homes. In response, the forced air system was developed to include a blower to better distribute the heated air. The next addition to the design was a series of ducts built into walls and ceilings to deliver heat well beyond the furnace.

Modern Furnace Design

Modern heating systems are designed with many of the elements that were found in the original Roman hypocaust designs, as well as those that have been invented over the centuries. Your heating system has a flue and chimney to remove exhaust that results from the combustion process that is needed to generate heat. When you raise the temperature on your thermostat, burners turn on and send heat into the exchangers. Heat exchangers further warm the air and remove the exhaust. Most systems have three heat exchangers, but there are designs with one or two exchangers. Blowers move the air into the ductwork and distribute it throughout your home.

Enhancing Modern Heating Systems

Not only have heating systems for homes evolved, but you also have options for enhancing the performance and energy efficiency of your HVAC equipment. You can add programmable thermostats to save on energy consumption and even control your HVAC system from your phone or tablet when you’re away from home. If you have parts of your home that tend to be colder, such as rooms near the garage, you can add a zone control system. With this setup, dampers inside the ductwork control airflow to send more or less heated air into a specific space. Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning also offers air purifiers and upgraded filters to remove dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other airborne particles from the air.

Future of Furnaces

Energy efficiency continues to be a top priority for homeowners and manufacturers of heating systems. Solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources are rapidly becoming the norm. Mobile technologies are integrated into every aspect of our lives, and you can expect these same technologies to be used for heating and cooling homes. Other areas to watch for exciting advancements in heating are smart homes and appliances. Indoor air quality is also certain to be a top priority for homeowners in the near future.

Furnace Experts in Pierce County and King County

Since 1946, Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning has served homeowners in Pierce and King counties with exceptional customer service, reliable support, and energy-efficient products for all their HVAC needs. We offer installation, maintenance, and repairs to keep your heating system running efficiently, so your family is comfortable during the winters. We also offer the same services for cooling systems. Call us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment with one of our expert technicians.

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