Is there anything better than coming in from the cold to a warm, cozy house?
Well we have central heating to thank for that – and many other things in between. Dating back centuries, heating systems have not only kept us warm but have helped foster family relations and marked the country’s transition into the modern age.
This year’s unseasonably bad weather has given us even more reason to be thankful for central heating – read on to find out about how the system developed and the ways in which it has changed everybody’s life.
Central heating stretches back as far as the Romans in the UK, who channeled heated air through spaces under their floors to keep the chill at bay.
Fireplaces and hearths then became the main source of heating houses for centuries, until Angier March Perkins began to popularize his central heating design in the 1830s. The invention of the radiator in 1857 helped further aid the spread of gas systems in Victorian Britain although, like many of the improvements of the time, some of the household improvements were highly unsafe.
The introduction of ceramic radiants at the beginning of the 20th century and the gradually improving efficiency brought about through convector fires helped make the system more affordable for ordinary Brits. Further technological and ethical advances, such as the Clean Air Act of 1956, further boosted the popularity of central heating, with the vast majority of houses now having an electric, gas or dual fuel household system.