HVAC history

HVAC System

Notable Women in HVAC History

When we talk about the great technological achievements throughout history, we tend to focus on the accomplishments of men. However, in any field, there are always plenty of women whose contributions are just as important, but often go unsung. The field of HVAC is no exception. Here are two women in HVAC history who helped define home comfort as we know it.

Alice H. Parker

For years, homes were heated primarily using wood or coal burning furnaces. Heat would eminate from the unit, which would then spread to the rest of the house. Then in 1919, African American inventor Alice H. Parker changed all that, by inventing a new, safer furnace that burned natural gas instead.

Furthermore, the furnace would heat up the air and distribute it throughout the house via a system of ducts and vents. This way, heat could spread through a home more evenly. Her furnace even allowed homeowners to set different temperatures for different areas of the house according to their individual needs - a concept that wouldn't become widespread until decades later, with the introduction of zoning systems.

Margaret Ingels

Another of the important women in HVAC history was Margaret Ingels. One of the first female engineers in America, she was the first woman to receive a professional Mechanical Engineering degree.

Spending six years in the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers research lab beginning in 1920, Ingels researched how to measure the amount of dust and contaminants in the air in public places. Her crowning achievement, though, was the sling psychrometer, which measures the amount of moisture in the air.

In so doing, Ingels was able to develop the "effective temperature" scale. This scale considers factors like relative humidity and air movement in order to determine the "feels like" temperature when it comes to home comfort.

These are just a few of the women who helped define home comfort as we know it today. To learn about other women in HVAC history, contact us at Air Assurance. We've provided Broken Arrow with quality home comfort solutions since 1985.

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The Biggest Changes in HVAC History in the Last 5 Years

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If you haven't updated your HVAC system in a number of years, you may not be aware of big changes that have taken place in the HVAC industry. Here are some things you might want to know about recent HVAC history that can have an impact on your next HVAC system purchase.

Smart Technology

Of course smart technology has been coming on for a while, but in the last five years, it's moved front and center in the operation and control of HVAC systems. With the introduction of smart thermostats such as the Nest and others, more and more consumers are controlling their systems from near or far with a smart device.

Efficiency Standards

In 2015, the Department of Energy adopted new energy efficiency standards for heat pumps, air conditioners and furnaces. These standards have motivated the HVAC industry to work harder on technological innovations for achieving ever greater efficiency.

Refrigerant Phase-Out

The widely used refrigerant R-22, which has been proven to be harmful to the ozone layer, began to be phased a few years ago. While older systems still use R-22, as of Jan. 1, 2020, the refrigerant will no longer be manufactured and cannot be imported into this country. That means owners of equipment using R-22 will have to pay big prices for dwindling stocks of the refrigerant when their equipment develops a leak, as you cannot use the new refrigerants in air conditioners that require R-22.

Sensor-Driven Equipment

So many systems are now being designed to be activated by sensors that we can't list them all, but here's one that was introduced in 2015 and can provide precise room-by-room temperature control: the Ecovent. Controlled by a smartphone app, the sensor-driven vents replace existing wall, ceiling or floor vents.

Non-Vapor Compression Technology

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy began funding research for non-vapor compression technologies, which won't require coolants to chill air. This could reduce energy use for cooling equipment by as much as 50 percent.

For more on HVAC history and innovations, contact Air Assurance. We serve the Broken Arrow area.


The History of Home Ventilation

The History of Home Ventilation

The History of Home Ventilation

People have known about the need for ventilation in their dwellings since open fires were first used to warm human abodes millennia ago. Today, we have home ventilation guidelines incorporated into our Broken Arrow building codes, but this wasn't always the norm. The understanding of how much fresh air was needed to replace stale, polluted indoor air evolved over centuries of experimentation, trial and error.Here's a look at key advancements in the evolution of ventilation from natural to mechanical means:

17th Century

In 1631, England's King Charles I determined that due to home heating, bad indoor air was causing health problems. He decreed that dwellings in England must have ceilings at least 10 feet high, and windows taller than their width to provide ample natural ventilation.

Early 19th Century

In 1835 when the British Houses of Parliament were rebuilt, a ventilation system was added. Outdoor air entered into a heating chamber, then went across steam pipes before being distributed through the building's ductwork.

Late 19th Century

After completing various studies and analysis, American physician J. Billings recommended in 1893 that a minimum of 30 cfm of ventilation per occupant was needed in buildings, but 60 cfm was ideal. That minimum rate was adopted by ASHVE (American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers) in 1895. This amount of airflow could only be achieved using mechanical ventilation made possible by advancements in the electric power industry.

20th Century

Massachusetts made 30 cfm per occupant of ventilation the law in 1914. By 1925, this minimum was adopted in 22 states. In 1925, ASHRE published the first code of minimum requirements for home heating and ventilation.

21st Century

Nowadays, there are various mechanical ventilation methods used in homes and other buildings, such as:

  • Exhaust fans that expel humid kitchen and bathroom air.

  • Whole-house fans that draw stale air up and send it out through attic vents.

  • Supply systems that introduce outdoor air into the HVAC's return ducting.

  • Balanced whole-house systems with dedicated intake and exhaust ducting.

To learn about your home ventilation options for better indoor air quality, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.


Then vs. Now: Furnaces

Then vs. Now: Furnaces

Since prehistoric days, when people gathered around a fire in the dead of winter, humans have sought ways to keep warm. How have those ways evolved over the centuries? How have they led to the technologies that heat our homes today? Let's take a look at the history of furnaces.

History of Furnaces

Among the first to develop central heating were the ancient Romans. They introduced radiant floor heating by building a fire in the basement, which would heat the stone floor above it. And since hot air rises, the heat from the floor would soon spread to the rest of the house.The first heating sources used wood for fuel. This included the Franklin Stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1741. Made of cast iron, it was designed to produce more heat than a regular fireplace, with less exhaust.Then in 1885, a new furnace was developed, which burned coal, which replaced wood as the standard. It produced more heat and used a system of ducts in the basement to transport that heat to the rest of the home. Then in 1919, Alice Parker invented the first modern central heating system. It replaced coal with natural gas, and distributed heat evenly throughout the home using a system of pipes.

Today's Furnaces

Today's furnace designs have come a long way since then. Top furnaces can operate with over 98% efficiency, providing more heat for less energy. Zoning systems now allow you to heat each part of the house according to its individual needs. Some can even sense whether or not a space is occupied, so you don't pay to heat empty rooms. And smart thermostats let you adjust your home's temperature from anywhere, via your mobile device.There are a variety of amazing features available on today's furnaces. When buying a new system, make a list of your home's heating needs and talk to an HVAC expert to find the furnace that's right for you.

To learn more about the history of furnaces, and tips for furnace buying, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve Broken Arrow's HVAC needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

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Looking Back: HVAC History to Note

Looking Back: HVAC History to Note

One of the many luxuries of modern society is the convenience of tapping or programming your HVAC thermostat to make your home comfortable to your liking. Not long ago, maintaining a comfortable indoor environment wasn't so simple. Keep reading to take a look back at notable inventions in HVAC history and how they influence our modern world.

Mechanical Room Fan

The first known invention of the mechanical room fan was during the Han Dynasty in China's Golden Age. A network of large room fans could be controlled by one person operating large wheels to spin the fans. The wheels could be 10-foot in diameter, which surely created quite the wind-chill effect!

Radiant Heating

Modern radiant heating systems use a solution that is heated and circulated through pipes installed inside or beneath floors (and walls). Heat from the hot solution rises and radiates into the room and furnishings. Several ancient societies had their own style of radiant heating. The Greeks and Romans used pipes and channels installed beneath marble floors that transmitted heat from fires and furnaces into the rooms above.

Electric-Resistance Heating

Electric-resistance heating is widely used in many applications. Air-source heat pumps, electric radiant heating panels, electric water heaters, electric stoves, and more use the technology. William Siemens invented electric-resistance heating coils when he proved that metal coils produced heat by applying an electrical current.

Modern-Day Air Conditioner

The most important invention in HVAC history has to be the modern-day air conditioner. Willis Carrier, an American engineer, was actually trying to invent a dehumidifier that could remove moisture from large factory rooms. He did, and much more. Our modern economic, scientific, and technological world wouldn't be possible without cooled, climate-controlled environments.

Ductless Mini Split

Developed by Mitsubishi Electric during the 1970s, ductless mini splits provide exceptional cooling and heating solutions where space is limited or impractical for conventional air ducts. Ductless systems are ideal for conditioning guest rooms, bonus rooms, additions, and more.

We hope you enjoyed this look back through HVAC history. For modern HVAC services in your Broken Arrow home, contact the professionals at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.