An essential element of human survival is staying warm when temperatures drop. The earliest version of a furnace in American civilization was the hearth fire. Wood was plentiful in the deciduous forests of the early settlers. However, keeping the fires lit was a full-time job, and chopping firewood was a backbreaking task. Also, the hearth fire was dangerous.
By the end of the 18th century, household furnaces were still fueled by wood, but the wood was chopped up and burned in an enclosed stove. This required less supervision and was much safer.
The Evolving Nature of Furnaces
The first evolutionary step in the history of furnaces was the substitution of coal for wood at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Although coal was easier to collect than firewood, furnaces still needed to be supplied regularly. Many homeowners kept a stash of coal indoors to fuel the furnace when needed.
The next step in the evolution of furnaces was the use of gas- or oil-powered furnaces with a forced-air convection system. No refueling was necessary. These forced-air furnaces are the direct precursors to the heating systems used in American homes today.
New vs. Old Furnaces
New furnaces are more energy efficient than old furnaces. You can tell if you have a newer model if your furnace has environmentally-friendly features such as variable-speed air handlers and dual-stage heating.
Variable-speed air handlers operate on multiple speeds in accordance with the applicable airflow needs. Furnaces with dual-stage heating operate on low energy settings under ordinary conditions and then switch into high gear for exceptionally cold weather.
These features make new furnaces run smoothly and more quietly than their older counterparts. Older furnaces have vertical vents that are rather like chimneys, and the gases are released through the roof. Newer furnaces have side vents made of PVC pipes.
If you need furnace repair, installation or maintenance, look no further than Kayl Heating & Air, Inc. Our NATE-certified technicians can assist you with all of your heating system needs. We’re a factory-authorized dealer of Carrier products in Doniphan, NE. For more information about our services, call us or contact us online.