For those who don’t know, HVAC is heating, ventilating and air conditioning. Many are familiar with the various applications of HVAC in today’s world, but what were there usages of HVAC in our history? It is surprising how far back in time you have to look to get to the origins of what, at first glance, seems to be modern day technological innovations. While there may not be glaring similarities with the technology we use today, even people in ancient times attempted to moderate the comfort and with various forms of climate control and ventilation.
From the 1000s to the 1400s it was the time of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese and the Native Americans. In this time period the Egyptian’s used human powered fans, while Native Americans were known for using rope fans to cool themselves. Roman’s were quite possibly the most advanced civilization in this timer period. They used technology known as hypocaust, which was a central heating system with a furnace in the basement and flues flowing throughout the structure to distribute heat. It h even provided steam for the baths to certain wealthy and privileged Romans. Chimneys were used extensively towards the latter part of this timeframe and the infamous Leonardo Da Vince was known to have built a water powered fan to ventilate for cooling and ventilation purposes.
The 1500s and the 1600s brought forth a fair amount of advancements is HVAC also. In Europe ventilating equipment was integrated into the mining industry when fans were used to force fresh air into the shaft that was being excavated. The notion of chimneys for buildings and homes was imported to America from Europe, so large quantities of wood and coal were being used during this era for internal warming purposes. Invention of thermometer by Galileo forever altered the way temperature was measured and allowed humans to track and accurately regulate inside temperatures.
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