Since the discovery of fire, people have sought ways to stay warm. Some efforts have proven successful: for example, Greeks devised a system of using flues in the ground to channel heat to public baths and upper-class homes; then Roman Empire created more advanced version called hypocaust furnaces which heated empty spaces under floors connected by pipes in walls for central heating; unfortunately all these advancements were lost when Roman Empire fell, leading backward to open hearths and fireplaces as primary heat sources.
By the 1700s, some families began adopting stoves in order to avoid having to spend hours gathering wood for an open fire and make multiple trips back and forth from woodpile to their home for heat. But it wasn’t until after the Industrial Revolution that more options became available such as coal-powered furnaces and cast iron radiators in large buildings.
The Industrial Revolution brought with it a revolutionary new form of heating: warm-air systems. William Strutt developed an early warm-air furnace in England characterized by two air chambers separated by just inches; one chamber served to circulate cool air while the upper space was intended to be heated by an iron furnace, puncturing its walls with 2-square-in openings that fed into it before returning back out through various openings in its walls into upper spaces and out through lower chambers again.
M. Bonnemain of the United States created a more practical system in 1816 using a boiler which heated water for use as house heating, then delivered it through ductwork to each room of his house. Unfortunately, thermosiphon circulation still played an integral part of this system – taking time for warm air to circulate throughout.
At this time, steam and electric heating became increasingly common in larger buildings like hospitals and schools. By 1900s, advances in motor and electrical technology had made automatic control of heating systems possible; with computer technology also coming onboard came more sophisticated controls with LED screens and digital programmers for various heating management options.
Attributed to many inventors, some key milestones of heater development include Thomas Edison’s 1880 invention of a light bulb, Albert Leroy Marsh’s creation of the alloy nichrome in 1905 and high-voltage DC motors that could generate more power more economically than their AC counterparts – these innovations laid the groundwork for modern heater design to emerge.