How Homes Stayed Warm Before Central Heating Systems

vintage home heatingWith all the modern conveniences that are available these days, the weather has become a relatively minor issue. It is irrelevant whether it is cold or hot outside since we can control our indoor environment. With just the push of one button, the temperature inside your house can be increased or decreased to the level that you want. The entire family can keep comfortable all year long.

Interesting Facts About Home Heating Before Central HVAC

Today things are so convenient that we frequently forget how fortunate we are to have all of these features available to us. We don’t remember any of these conveniences until something happens like our HVAC system breaks down, the fuel runs out, or our power goes out. Then suddenly, we are vulnerable to the outdoor elements.

Since HVAC systems have not been around that long, it might be interesting to know how houses stayed warm before the development of central heating. In this article, we will discuss some of the various methods that were used in the past to heat homes.

Learn More About Our Heating Services

Home Designs And Features For Reducing Heat Loss

Various heating methods were experimented with and used by our ancestors. After much trial and error, they were able to develop house designs that work well with passive heating. Back then, many homes were very compact which meant that it was reasonably easy to confine hot air. Usually, houses consisted of one room that was modest in size. Hot air rises, so ceilings were low to prevent warm air from escaping.

There were few windows in these homes, and they were spaced far apart. Generally, they were small to limit how much heat could escape through them. These windows faced south since that is where the sun shines brighter throughout the day. They made walls out of straw, mud, bricks, and thick stones. These materials helped to shield the home from excessive heat throughout the day, and at night, they offered steady warmth.

Overhangs were very popular in places with changing seasons and extreme temperature differences. During the summer, they were able to provide much-needed shade, and in the winter, the overhangs allowed heat to warm up the house. A trellis was used by some homes to achieve the same outcome. Many homes today feature these same architectural features.

Many of these houses had fireplaces that people could gather around for warmth. Often they were located in the living room. Before the invention of television, people would do crafts and tell stories around the fireplace to entertain themselves.

Explore Our HVAC Services

Increased Comfort From Portable Heating Elements

fireplaceNumerous items were used by our ancestors to keep themselves warm. They made curtains out of thick fabric to reduce the amount of heat flowing out of the windows. Also, they made down comforters and quilts to utilize their body heat while they were sleeping. They would add on more layers if they were cold.

They also used foot warmers and bed warmers. The bed warmers that they used had long handled pans that contained heated rocks inside. Foot warmers were tin boxes that contained heated stones. They were taken along when people traveled by wagon. When attending church services, they sometimes placed them on the ground.

Soapstones were a form of personal heating. If somebody felt cold, they used a piece of soapstone. They would put it next to a fire. After it had heated up, it would be wrapped inside of a small blanket and held closely since it radiated heat. It was easier to carry smaller stones, but larger stones could hold more heat. They were used as bed warmers also.

Schedule A Heating System Tune-Up



Our ancestors might have lived without all of the benefits and conveniences of modern technology. They did manage, thanks to ingenious heating strategies and house designs.

To continue to enjoy a heating system that can comfortably heat your home and perform efficiently, make sure to have it maintained every year. Also, when it needs a repair, immediately call a reputable and experienced HVAC company.

McAllister Energy is a reliable, local HVAC company that provides comprehensive heating system services including HVAC installations, tune-ups, replacements, and repairs. Our staff of NATE certified technicians can do an excellent job for you.

Our friendly experts at McAllister Energy have the expertise, tools, and skills to provide you with practical and knowledgeable services.

When you work with us, you will discover that all of the services that we provide are quick and very affordable. We will ensure that your system runs efficiently throughout the year, enabling you to reduce your home heating bills. Our services can also increase your comfort and improve the indoor air quality inside your home. Our highest priority is to provide all of our clients with outstanding services at competitive, affordable and honest prices. We offer free estimates. Call now!

Call Now: (856) 665-4545

Contact McAllister Energy today, and we will be happy to assist you. Click here to contact us or you can call us at (856) 665-4545 to find out more!