How Evolved is Your Furnace?

Fire is the source of light, heat, and comfort. Since humans began living indoors, their goal has been to harness the power of fire to warm their homes in the most efficient way possible.

The ancient Romans used a floor heating furnace known as a hypocaust, which was fueled by burning wood. Later, in the 17th century, as Europe hovered on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, people used coal in their furnaces. Early furnaces were very damaging to the environment and affected people’s health and lungs.

Evolution of Furnaces

By the mid-20th century, indoor furnaces had become much safer because they were powered by gas instead of coal. They also required less exertion on the part of homeowners and servants who were accustomed to multiple trips per day to replenish the coal reserves for coal-based furnaces.

Gas furnaces remained popular until the oil crisis in the 1970s when industry professionals were forced to find a more cost-effective method of heating indoor spaces. That’s when some companies shifted toward electric furnaces. Even so, gas furnaces remain the most widely used furnace type today.

Old vs. New Furnaces

Older furnaces are extremely inefficient and require constant maintenance. You may be unsure as to whether you have a new furnace or an older model. Old furnaces have:

  • No blowers
  • Only one heat exchanger
  • Large ducts
  • Forced air flow

On the other hand, newer furnace models tend to have:

  • Primary and secondary heat exchangers
  • Spark ignition
  • Air circulation and flue draft blowers
  • Electronically controlled circuitry

Newer furnace models are more efficient because less heat escapes through the chimney and more warm air is circulated inside and around the home.

At Alberta Mountain Air Heating & Air Conditioning in Calgary, AB, we’re dedicated to ensuring that your furnace is properly maintained and in peak condition whether you have an old or a new model. For more information about our maintenance options and servicing plans for customers in the Calgary area, contact us today.