A Brief History of Central Heating | Merry Christmas from Our Team
We hope you and your central heating are feeling prepared for the most wonderful time of the year and don’t forget to keep an eye on those pipes, we’d hate for you to have any boiler problems this Christmas. Speaking of which we thought it would be nice to bring you a seasonal story so read on this week as we look at a brief history of central heating.
Earlier Forms of Central Heating
Although the concept of heating has gradually developed over the last one hundred years or so, the original idea can actually be traced back to even before the birth of Christ. In ancient Korea, a form of underfloor heating was created called ‘Ondol’. It worked by lighting a fire in a stove or furnace which would heat the home via a series of passages. The Romans additionally invented a system which we know as ‘Hypocaust’. Used as long ago as 15AD, heat from a furnace warmed rooms through channels in the structure.
The First Domestic Boilers
Modern gas boilers can trace their history back to the 19th Century when Benjamin Waddy Maughan developed an idea that didn’t use solid fuel. A painter by trade, his invention – the Geyser, was an instantaneous water heater. However, it was also incredibly dangerous and liable to problems because it didn’t have a flue or vent. In 1868, if you had a boiler breakdown it wasn’t just a case of calling Direct Heating. Covers and shells from the heater would rupture and explode, leading to injury or even death. Still, at this point, homeowners just could not do without their precious central heating. The success of the Geyser was, therefore, upheld by Edwin Rudd’s much safer 1889 invention.
Central Heating of Recent Decades
It wasn’t until 1956 that boiler know-how underwent another revolutionary shift. Up to now, boilers were made from cast-iron which was durable enough to cope with the pressure from gases. Brits, however, were fast turning towards mains gas instead of solid fuel and under the Clean Air Act, as boilers increased, it became more common to build them out of steel. This change in production further improved the safety of domestic boilers. Steel boilers are not only easier to make than cast-iron versions but they are also less liable to having unstable weak spots. It is, however, important to add that modern techniques have also removed the risk cast-iron boilers pose. A material often used for commercial central heating, cast-iron safety dangers are no more.
Modern Central Heating
While boilers might still use the same technology as they did a hundred years ago, the massive selection we have available today would probably blow the minds of even Rudd and Maughan. The functions we have on the latest models mean 100% efficiency and warmer homes. There’s additionally no risk in them blowing up – we don’t even know we’re born!
Merry Christmas from Direct Heating
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our post to learn about the history of central heating. We’ve certainly come a long way since the original Geyser and there’s probably still more to go. If you’d like a quote on a modern new boiler, at Direct Heating we would love to help. Please drop us a line whenever you’re ready and don’t forget to have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for reading.