Franklin’s stove was a freestanding cast iron unit that could warm rooms more efficiently than an open fireplace and in addition it used less wood than a fireplace. Like all his inventions Franklin never patented his stove. As a consequence it was soon copied and improved on over the years by other manufacturers and gradually became the standard heating and cooking appliance in all American homes.
In the 20th century, as the home industry evolved in the United States, manufacturers introduced the concept of central heating to its products. This central heating was actually an improvement over the concept of systems that were used by the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago. The Romans had what was called a hypocaust system. The Romans made this system by suspending the floor of a building on pillars about two feet above the ground. A fire room was built on an outside wall of the structure to be warmed. Once the air was armed it was channeled through the spaces beneath the floor through a set of pipes mounted in the wall of the building. This concept was so popular that the houses of all the wealthy and powerful Romans had this luxury. It was even used in the public bathhouses.
To improve on this technology American manufacturers used ductwork and boilers or oil-fired furnaces to warm the air to a comfortable temperature. The heating unit was placed in a central location, generally in a cellar or basement, and metal ductwork was used to carry the air to all the rooms of the house. These ducts began at the boiler or furnace and snaked through the house to a series of vents that were placed in every room of the house to evenly distribute warmth. Even today the furnace or boiler unit is the standard that warms most American homes.
Today there are many choices available to homeowner for warming their office building and home. In addition to the standard furnace and boiler arrangement there are also all electric systems and even solar powered ones. With the rise in the cost of electricity and oil many people are looking for any way to save on the cost of being comfortable. As a result Innovations in warming systems like the forced air pump are available. There are also hot water based systems including active solar and forced air systems. What ever you choose there are many installation options and types of systems available to satisfy any need and configuration of your building or home to make it comfortable year round.