Fill out this form or call us at (907) 917-4286 to get started


technician working on a furnace

Interesting and Informative Facts About Furnaces

Since humankind first discovered fire, keeping warm has been a priority in colder climates. No longer are we huddled around a campfire in a cave. These days, your family can enjoy the comfort of a modern home furnace. This article explores various astonishing facts about furnace technology.

The Origin of Modern Furnaces

Modern furnaces can trace their origin back to 1919. An American engineer named Alice Parker invented the first modern furnace. Her design warmed homes by burning natural gas. Before this, traditional furnaces either burned wood or coal to keep a home warm.

Ancient Furnace Technology

Traditional furnaces have been around in some form since ancient Rome. Some Roman buildings had a form of central heating. To circulate heated air below the floors and inside the interior walls of a dwelling, Romans used a system called a hypocaust. While this system was mostly used in public buildings like bathhouses, wealthy citizens sometimes also had them in private villas.

Improvements in Energy Efficiency

Ever since the first modern furnace was invented, there have been significant improvements in the heating efficiency of furnaces. Older furnace models were barely able to be 65% efficient when converting fuel to heat. Today, furnaces are much better with an astounding 98.5% heat conversion efficiency.

Thermostat Technology Advancements

Cornelis Drebbel was a 17th-century Dutch inventor who invented the first thermostat. His invention used mercury expansion alongside a damper. It would regulate the furnace to maintain a consistent temperature.

By the 19th century, mechanical thermostats were developed. They were formed of strips of metal. Depending on the temperature, the metal would contract or expand, which would then trigger a switch. After the prevalence of electricity, analog electric thermostats became common, eventually leading to the digital thermostats we use today.

Heat Zone Savings

Modern furnace systems often involve heating zone technology. Heating zones allow homeowners to section off their homes into different spaces or zones. Each zone can have its temperature independently controlled.

Zones allow for individual comfort levels. Also, by heating only occupied zones and closing off doors to unused rooms, you can save money on your energy bill.

Futuristic Smart Furnaces

With smart furnaces, homeowners can now control their heating system with an app on their smartphone or tablet. This means you can start warming your house while on your way back from work. Additionally, smart furnaces can often be integrated with an existing smart home system.

Heating technology has come a long way over the years. No matter how much technology has changed since our ancestors used early furnaces, we agree on one crucial fact: Nothing beats a warm home on a cold day. If you live in Wasilla, AK or the surrounding area and need a furnace installation, replacement or repair, contact Hardy Heating today.