Central Heating

Central heating was originally developed by the ancient Greeks. Central heating is different than space heating in that the heat is produced in a specific area and then diffused through piping or vents evenly throughout a space. Space heating is where the heating element, whether fire or hot coils, are present in the space being heated. In ancient Rome hypocausts used radiant floor heating methods. Flooring was raised with brick pillars leaving room underneath to pump hot air into the space. The heat dissipated through the flooring and warmed the room above. Once the air cooled it was vented through the walls or built in flues.


Modern central heating system technology was developed in the late 18th century. There are three techniques hot air, steam, and hot water. William Strut built the first inclusive central heating system in 1793. It used air heated by a large outside stove that was pumped into central air ducts and distributed out into the rooms. It was not until 1807 that a more efficient steam system was developed. James Watt was the first engineer to create a network of pipes that would carry heated steam from a boiler to heat his home. Modern hot water heating systems were made possible by the invention of the radiator in 1855, by Franz San Galli. By the end of the 19th century cast iron radiators were in almost every Victorian home.radiator-diagram