How Homes Stayed Warm Before Central Heat

vintage home heatingModern conveniences have made the weather a minor concern. Whether it is hot or cold outside is irrelevant since we can always control our indoor environment. With the push of a button, we can increase or decrease the temperature inside our homes. The whole family can stay comfortable throughout the year.

Home Heating Before Central HVAC

Things are so easy that we often forget how lucky we are to have such conveniences at our disposal. The only time we remember is when the power goes off, the fuel runs out, or the HVAC system breaks down. We then become vulnerable to the forces of nature.

Since heaters and air conditioners haven’t been around for long, it would be interesting to learn how homes stayed warm before the development of central heating. In this article, we will discuss some of the methods that were previously used for home heating.

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House Design And Features To Reduce Heat Loss

fireplaceOur ancestors must have experimented with different heating methods. After trials and errors, they came up with house designs that worked well for passive heating. Many of the homes back then were compact so that hot air could be confined. They were usually composed of a single room with modest space. The ceilings were also low to prevent warm air from escaping upwards since hot air rises.

Windows were few and spaced far apart. They were generally small to limit the amount of heat that could flow out through them. They faced south where the sun shone brighter throughout the day. As for the walls, these were made of thick stones, bricks, mud, and straw. These shielded the house from excessive heat during the day and provided steady warmth throughout the night.

Overhangs were popular in areas that faced extreme temperature differences with the changing seasons. They could provide much-needed shade from the sun during summer while allowing heat to warm the house in the winter. Some homes used a trellis to do the same thing. These architectural elements can still be found in many houses today.

Many of the homes have fireplaces where people could gather around for heat. There were often built in the living room. Before the invention of television, people used to entertain themselves by sharing stories and doing crafts around the fireplace.

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Portable Heating Elements To Increase Comfort

Our ancestors made use of various items to keep warm. They created curtains from thick fabrics to reduce the outflow of heat around the windows. They made quilts and down comforters to lock in body heat as they slept. If they felt cold, they would add more layers.

They used bed warmers and foot warmers. Bed warmers were pans with a long handle containing heated rocks. They placed these rocks under beds for overnight heating. On the other hand, foot warmers were portable tin boxes that also contained heated stones. People took them along when they traveled in a wagon. They might place these on the ground while they attended church service as well.

Soapstones were used for personal heating. If someone felt cold, then they could use a soapstone and place it near a fire. Once it was heated sufficiently, they would wrap it in a small blanket and hold it close as it radiates heat. Smaller stones are easier to carry but bigger stones could hold more heat. These may be used as bed warmers as well.

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Final Words

Our ancestors may have lived without the benefits of modern technologies, but they were able to manage, thanks to clever house designs and heating strategies.

To keep enjoying a heating system that performs efficiently and is capable of heating your home comfortably, be sure to maintain it annually. Also, when it requires a repair service, be sure to call in a reputable HVAC company immediately.

Lawes Company, a trusted HVAC company in your area, offers heating system services including HVAC repairs, installations, tune-ups, and replacements. We have NATE certified technicians on staff who can do an excellent job for you.

At Lawes Company, our friendly experts have the skills, tools, and expertise to give you knowledgeable and practical services. By working with us, you will find that all of our services are fast and affordable. Your system will run efficiently, reducing your home heating costs. Also, our services can improve your indoor air quality while increasing your comfort. Our top priority is to offer our clients superior services at honest, competitive prices.

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