The following is general information regarding the history of heating and HVAC systems. If you have a heating, ventilation, or air conditioning emergency, please feel free to call PHONE_8 to schedule an appointment with one of our certified HVAC technicians now! Otherwise, scroll down and learn all about the history of HVAC and heating systems.
Central-heating systems provide warmth to the whole interior of a building (or portion of a building) from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may comprise of an HVAC system.
HVAC (pronounced either "H-V-A-C" or, occasionally, "aitch-vak") is an acronym that stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
HVAC is sometimes referred to as climate control and is particularly important in the construction of most industrial and office buildings, and in marine environments such as aquariums, where humidity and temperature must all be closely regulated whilst maintaining safe and healthy conditions within.
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning is based on the basic principles of thermodynamics and heat transfer, and to inventions and discoveries made by Michael Faraday, Willis Carrier, Reuben Trane, James Joule, William Rankine, Sadi Carnot, and many others. The invention of the components of HVAC systems goes hand-in-hand with the industrial revolution, and new methods of modernization, higher efficiency, and system control are constantly introduced by companies and inventors all over the world.
The three functions of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning are closely interrelated. All seek to provide thermal comfort, acceptable indoor air quality, and reasonable installation, operation, and maintenance costs. HVAC systems can provide ventilation, reduce air infiltration, and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. How air is delivered to, and removed from spaces is known as room air distribution.
Cities in the northern Roman Empire used central heating systems starting around 100 AD, conducting air heated by furnaces through empty spaces under the floors and out of pipes in the walls — a system known as a hypocaust.
The Cistercian monks revived central heating using river diversions combined with indoor wood-fired furnaces. The well-preserved Royal Monastery of Our Lady of the Wheel (founded 1202) on the Ebro River in the Aragon region of Spain provides an excellent example of such an application.
By about 1700 Russian engineers had started designing hydrologically based systems for central heating. The Summer Palace (1710-1714) of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg provides the best extant example. Slightly later, in 1716, came the first use of water in Sweden to distribute heat in buildings. Martin Triewald, a Swedish engineer, used this method for a greenhouse at Newcastle upon Tyne. Jean Simon Bonnemain, a French architect, introduced the technique to industry on a cooperative, at Château du Pêcq, near Paris.
Angier March Perkins developed and installed some of the earliest steam-heating systems in the 1830s. The first was installed in the home of Governor of the Bank of England John Horley Palmer so that he could grow grapes in England's cold climate.
In milder climates a heat pump can be used to air condition the building during warmer weather, and to heat the building using heat extracted from outdoor air in cold weather. Air-source heat pumps are generally uneconomic for outdoor temperatures much below freezing.
The advantage of the heat pump is that it reduces the purchased energy required for building heating; often geothermal source systems also supply domestic hot water. Even in places where fossil fuels provide most electricity, a geothermal system may offset greenhouse gas production since most of the energy furnished for heating is supplied from the environment, with only 15–30% purchased.
Ventilating is the process of "changing" or replacing of air in any space to remove moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust and airborne bacteria. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings. Methods for ventilating a building may be divided into mechanical/forced and natural types. Ventilation is used to remove unpleasant smells and excessive moisture, introduce outside air, and to keep interior building air circulating, to prevent stagnation of the interior air.
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