Is Your Furnace an Older or Newer Model?

February 9, 2019

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 homes today. New vs. Old Furnaces New furnaces are more energy efficient than...

View Article

Read More