The New Cor™ Thermostat – Smart Energy Control for Your Home

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we’re all about helping our customers boost their energy efficiency and save money on utility bills with the best equipment on the market. That why we are such big fans of Carrier’s Côr™ C smart thermostats. These Energy Star®-certified thermostats enable homeowners to control their home’s temperature and energy use from anywhere—and maximize their HVAC system’s efficiency.

The sleek thermostat is a fully programmable seven-day unit that:

  • Has an easy-to-use full-color touchscreen (similar to a smartphone)
  • Is a fully connected, Wi-Fi® capable, smart-home unit
  • Comes equipped with energy savings intelligence and reduces your energy use. In fact, according to Carrier, homeowners who install Côr™ thermostats save an average of 20% on their heating and cooling energy costs.*

Smart technology. Because Côr™ is “smart,” it learns your family’s comfort preferences and can manage it all for you if you wish. Its features enable the thermostat to adapt beyond manual programming for greater efficiency.  For example, it can make modifications to your home’s temperature control based on outdoor weather conditions. The thermostat can adjust indoor humidity It even gives you your local four-day weather forecast. Plus, Côr™ automatically downloads the latest software updates for all models to ensure your thermostat is always performing at its best.

Connectivity. You can control your settings remotely via the internet and connect and check in on your system—from any room in the house or wherever you happen to be—with the free mobile app for Apple® and Android™ devices To enhance your “energy IQ,” you can log into the web portal for detailed reports on your home’s energy consumption to help you make smarter decisions about your optimal temperate control settings and schedule. It even provides customized energy-saving tips based on your usage and environment. It’s all part of creating a more connected home.

Flexibility. Côr™ is compatible with many brands of HVAC systems and for homes with a Carrier heat pump and furnace, the device’s energy-smart design can stretch your energy dollars further by acting as what’s called a Hybrid Heat® system. Your Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric technician can explain how that works to save on fuel consumption.

As an added bonus, as your Carrier Côr™ dealer, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric also connects to your unit to receive reports on your system in order to detect problems proactively, for remote troubleshooting, and to determine if maintenance is required.

We can install a new Côr™ smart thermostat any time, so give us a call at (973) 237-0505. It installs easily and we can do it as part of a routine maintenance appointment or service call.

*Based on a 2012 third-party study comparing Carrier® Côr™ technology to the estimated cost of a non-programmable thermostat set to 72°F at all times.

Start a Hot Career as a Generator Technician

Photo: Generac

As we know in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex and other northern NJ counties, severe storms can wreak havoc with power supplies—fueling the need for standby home generators. Given the growing demand (some would say, need) for standby home generators in northern New Jersey, it’s now wonder that generator technician is a job that’s growing in popularity—and is a professional who is definitely in demand in our area.

A generator technician services and installs generator systems and related equipment. These often run on heavy diesel or gas-fueled combustion engines, and are used to provide electrical power to homes when power lines are down or due to other service interruptions. This specialized mechanic installs generators, makes generator repairs, testis and monitors the engines’ combustion systems, and ensures the energy output is efficient. In some cases, it may also be necessary transport or dispose of hazardous and flammable materials as part of these service calls.

Qualifications for generator technicians

Technicians should have the field experience or a trade school background necessary to be fully trained in standby generator installation, maintenance, and repair. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we are busy installing and maintaining standby generators throughout northern New Jersey—so much so, in fact, that we are hiring. As a certified, authorized Generac dealer and installer, we provide training and certification classes for Generac generators (of course, we also service other generator brands). Our technicians get plenty of experience working on top-of-the-line equipment for our customers in Passaic, Essex, Bergen, and Hudson counties.

If you’re a generator technician looking to make a change, or you’d like to become a generator technician, contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric about job opportunities. We offer a competitive salary with benefits, a great work environment, and a lot of satisfied customers who’ve helped us earn 12 Angie’s List Super Service awards and multiple Best of Essex awards as Best HVAC Company. Call (973) 237-0505 or email info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

Is Your HVAC System the Correct Size for Your Home?

Is Your HVAC System the Correct Size - Bloomfield CoolingYou rely on your HVAC system to provide a comfortable environment in your home; but if the system in not the correct size, that will have a big (and negative) impact on your energy consumption and costs. Therefore, it is crucial that your HVAC contractor take all key factors into account when making the load calculation that determines the size of your residential system heating and air conditioning system. This all concerns the capacity of the system to adequately heat or cool your home with maximum efficiency.

An HVAC system that is too small will keep on running without providing adequate comfort. A system that’s oversized is inefficient in another way, with compressors that run cycles that are too short. These sizing errors are often due to basing the system solely on the home’s square footage.

Proper load calculation

The load calculation helps your HVAC contractor design the system properly. This includes the number, size and location of air ducts, and properly sizing the equipment to optimize comfort and efficiency. Aside from the home’s square footage and layout (an open floor plan will have different needs than more small and separate spaces), other factors to consider in a general load calculation are:

  • Potential heat loss/heat gain of the home depending on exposure and setting (full sun all day or shady environment, for example)
  • Ceiling height
  • Type of insulation in the walls; doors and windows in the home
  • How/where the heat and air conditioning will be distributed (rooms to be heated/cooled, ductwork)
  • Other heat sources that may affect cooling

HOT TIP: Find out if the contractor is following Manual J® residential load calculations (the industry standard) and for installation, the Quality Installation guidelines from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the American National Standards Institute’s Standard 5.

Knowing when it’s right

When the load calculation is done correctly and your HVAC system is properly sized and installed:

  • You should not hear the system run or hear the air moving through the ductwork. A quiet system indicates ducts are the right size, air velocity is correctly calibrated and the fans are using the right amount of power.
  • There should not be any odors nor an unusual amount of dust (these indicate leaky ductwork).
  • The air temperature should be even throughout all zones. You can check this by going room to room; changes in comfort level may mean the air distribution system is not properly sized, installed or balanced.
  • Your utility bills should be lower since presumably, your system is more efficient and operating as expected.

Of course, you always want to use a licensed and insured HVAC contractor to protect you and your home, and to ensure that only certified, well-trained technicians are doing all the installation and/or repair work. To discuss your needs—whether retrofitting an existing HVAC system with upgraded equipment or installing a new system—contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric for a consultation: 973-237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

How to Choose a Quality, Reliable HVAC Contractor

Like any type of contractor, choosing a good HVAC contractor takes some vetting on the homeowner’s part. Here are some things to look for and look into before you sign that contract for a new heating & air conditioning system for your home.

  1. The HVAC contractor should be licensed. No one can afford to have an unlicensed individual working on their gas lines, disposing properly of refrigerant, or performing electrical work. In New Jersey, HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) contractors are licensed by the State Board of Examiners This entity protects consumers by ensuring that the HVACR contractor does all work in compliance with State law, and that the contractors meet all educational and other requirements for licensure. Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. is Master HVACR Contractor #19HC00144800
  2. Get written estimates. There is no such thing as a real quote over the phone. Compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties among the various bids you get from licensed and insured contractors. The one you select should adhere to the written bid.
  3. Expect a thorough in-home evaluation. The HVAC contractor needs to survey your home thoroughly, measure the rooms, examine your insulation and existing ducting (if applicable), and look at many other factors that go into the calculation for your custom HVAC installation.
  4. The new system should be right-sized for your home. Size and load is very important to ensure your home will be comfortable all year ’round and that the system is not overtaxed in terms of heating and cooling efficiently.
  5. How to Choose a Reliable HVAC Contractor - Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric

  6. Make sure your new unit is really new. The average lifespan of an HVAC unit is about years (in terms of its efficiency), and technology continually improves system and energy efficiency. Don’t get stuck with the company’s old inventory! A properly licensed HVAC contractor will recommend newer options to bring your home up to date. It’s helpful to know the make and model of your current system, its age, and its maintenance history as a baseline.
  7. Don’t always go with price. You know the expression, “You get what you pay for?” There’s a reason why it’s true! With your HVAC system being the most complicated (or only) mechanical system in your home, it pays to go with the contractor who delivers the best value for the money—in terms of equipment, service, and support. The most inexpensive bid may cost you more in the long run because of unanticipated maintenance and repairs or higher energy costs due to an insufficient system.
  8. Get referrals, read reviews, research. Ask your friends and family who they refer for this important project and go online to read reviews from customers. Also ask the HVAC contractor for references and contact them for find out about the installation experience and service performance. Check the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any legitimate complaints lodged against the company.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, all our technicians are properly trained and certified to perform the work they do in your home—whether a new installation, routine maintenance, or system repair. And, our company is licensed and insured to meet all State of New Jersey requirements, and a multiple award winner for the high level of service we deliver to our customers throughout northern New Jersey. For a free evaluation of your current HVAC system or information about installing a new one, contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or 973-237-0505.

Generator Season is Here – Are You Prepared?

Bloomfield Cooling Generac GeneratorWhether it’s a hurricane or tropical storm, blizzard or ice storm, major weather events wreak havoc due to flooding, downed trees and power lines. For homeowners with a reliable standby generator, power outages present less of a problem. That said, it’s critical that you perform regular generator maintenance and have your fall maintenance done on your HVAC system so the equipment works as expected during the coming months.

Last month, we reminded readers to run the generator’s self-test. There are also minor maintenance operations you should do, such as keeping the area around the unit free of debris and checking the oil level (when the unit is not running); keep it as close to full as possible (but don’t overfill it).

Beyond that, full preventive maintenance should be done yearly or twice a year, depending on the environmental conditions and how often the generator runs. This routine maintenance should be performed by a certified technician, to ensure everything is properly checked and corrected, and to maintain your unit’s warranty.

Preventive generator maintenance
Your HVAC/generator contractor will check the air system, engine starting system, and transfer switch operation and controls. It is crucial that the tech checks the starter (battery and charger) and transfer switch, since these two items help power the unit. Obviously, if they are not working, neither will the generator. In addition, the technician should replace, clean and/or visually inspect the:

  • Air filters
  • Oil & oil filter
  • Spark plugs & spark wires
  • Battery terminals & cables
  • Air intake & exhaust system
  • Fuel lines & hoses
  • Voltage input & electrical connections
  • Vibration & insulation conditions
  • Control board operation

Depending on the make and model of your standby generator, there may be other preventive maintenance actions required.

To make it easy for you to get your standby generator checked, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric is running a special of just $225 for your generator maintenance. We are an authorized Generac dealer but service multiple makes of standby generators. If you have not yet installed a new generator, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric also offers 12-month interest-free financing for those who qualify, on installations of new generators as well as HVAC systems.

Fall HVAC system maintenance
Before you know it, it will be time to turn on (and keep on) the heat. Is your central HVAC system ready for winter?

Homeowners are advised to perform some simple routine maintenance checks every month to help keep their HVAC system running properly. These include checking and changing out the air filters if they are dirty or clogged, keeping vents clean and free of dust, and making sure the outdoor compressors are free of debris (leaves, sticks, dirt, etc.)

The technician should go through a comprehensive checklist of your heating system to check filters and inspect electrical switches, belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, our certified technicians will take care of any components that need replacing, alert you to any potential issues, and make recommendations for remedial steps to take. Our team services forced hot air systems as well as steam boilers and hot water boilers. You can read more about our various maintenance plans and services for your heating and air conditioning systems here.

Don’t wait for the leaves to fall to get your HVAC system or standby generator checked out and properly maintained—when the storm hits or the temperatures drop, you’ll want to know with confidence that your equipment will run as expected. Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com to set up your maintenance appointment.

Keep Your Standby Generator Standing By 24/7

Running the self-test is an important part of your generator’s maintenance plan

Standby generators are the gold standard for emergency electrical power for your home or small business. When there’s an outage, the generator kicks in automatically and provides service for hours or days, energizing your fridge, phone and all your essentials. It will do the job whenever you need it—if you do your job to maintain it properly.

Once a standby generator is permanently installed in your yard, it will last a long time if well-maintained, potentially 20 years or more. The self-testing feature is a primary reason these generators are so reliable.

How self-testing works
Each week, the standby generator turns itself on for about 10 minutes, based on a programmed schedule. The day and time can be set from the control board, and for convenience, your installer can program your unit to run self-tests weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

The Generac11kW Home Backup Generator, WiFi enabled. Photo, Generac Power Systems, Inc.Any problem that’s detected is read by a remote indoor monitor that transmits data to your maintenance team, who will determine if your generator needs service.

Also important: the test charges the 12-volt car battery the generator uses so it’s ready to go the moment a blackout occurs.

Is it noisy?
Most generators are relatively quiet during the self-test, like a car idling in your driveway. Some of the best standby generators on the market, like the Generac Guardian series, have recently been enhanced to further lower the decibel level.

Be sure to listen for and monitor the results of these exercises. You can also read the display inside your generator to gather all the data points from the last test run. Another simple visual inspection: check the external indicator light, which should be green if it’s running properly. Red indicates an operating problem and requires a service visit by a certified technician to keep the warranty intact.

Remote access to data
If you’re away from home, don’t worry. The Generac Guardian series and other top-of-the-line generators have remote Wi-Fi monitoring capability. Weekly data results can be transmitted to a smartphone, tablet, or PC.

“Our customers can check the status of their generators even when they’re at work or on vacation,” notes Mike DeJoseph, owner of Bloomfield Cooling, Heating, & Electric, Inc. “If they get an alert that their generator is running when it shouldn’t, or if there’s an operational problem, they can contact us right away so we can check out the issue.”

Maintenance to-do list

  • Monitor oil levels monthly, or more when the generator is running for longer periods of time; be sure the breaker and unit are off before pulling out the dipstick. Oil levels are key to maintaining the warranty.
  • Keep the area around the unit clear and easily accessible, especially near the intake and exhaust areas. The generator needs air to work properly. Leaves, snow, or nesting birds and animals can all interfere with operation.

Scheduled inspections
A factory certified technician should fully inspect your generator annually or more depending on usage and more extreme weather. Make sure the installer or contractor has a comprehensive checklist for your specific unit which includes:

  • Starters and alternators
  • Transfer switch operation and controls (detects service interruption and disconnects your house from the utility)
  • Air (intake and exhaust, filter replacement)
  • Electrical connections and voltage input
  • Fuel lines and hoses
  • Oil and oil filter (change at least twice a year)
  • Load testing (to verify overall reliability to run at full kW output)

For ultimate peace of mind, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating, & Electric, Inc. offers a preventive maintenance contract, which ensures inspections are done correctly, thoroughly, and on time. We are a factory authorized dealer for Generac and offer certified service for Generac and Honeywell generators, the industry’s leading brands. Your work is always performed by certified technicians from a multiple-award-winning HVAC company.

Check our website to read about standby generator and our latest generator maintenance specials; then call us at (973) 237-0505 to set up your appointment or for more information.

Hot News about Air Conditioning Refrigerant

Many older air conditioners and refrigerators once used Freon, the trade name for R-22 and certain other refrigerants and aerosol propellants manufactured by The Chemours Company. However, the product was banned in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency and it is scheduled to be completely phased out by 2020. The EPA deemed R-22 and other chlorofluorocarbons to be hazardous to the environment by causing ozone depletion.

Although R-22 is still being manufactured to maintain existing HVAC equipment, many homeowners with older HVAC systems that rely on R-22 are facing increased costs for the refrigerant due to the dwindling stockpile of that product. And, after 2020, R-22 won’t be manufactured or imported in the United States at all. Because of the environmental issues with R-22, HVAC service contractors in the US must have an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and repair systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants such as R-22.

So, what does all this mean for our customers?

More environmentally friendly refrigerant: R-410A

R410-A RefrigerantAt Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we switched to a refrigerant called R-410A. In fact, we have been using it since 1995 when it was first introduced, because it is much more environmentally friendly. Unlike R-22, 401A does not contain bromine or chlorine (which contribute to ozone depletion). It also enables higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings, reducing power consumption which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

For homeowners with older HVAC systems, now is the time to upgrade to more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly equipment that use 410A; remember, if your system breaks down after January 2020 (only 18 months from now), you will be faced with a replacement at that time. There are ways to retrofit an older system to use the newer refrigerant but it’s not possible for all systems, so your Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric technician will have to assess whether or not we can do the conversion. If not, a retroactive HVAC system replacement will be more cost-effective in the long run.

If you’re interested in upgrading your HVAC system to a more energy-efficient unit, ask about our new HVAC system special that is good through the end of June, with zero percent financing for 36 months (we have other favorable financing programs available as well). Or ask about our $500 installation coupon here.

Not ready for a new system? Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric about system maintenance that will help keep your HVAC system running at its peak, at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

How is Your Indoor Air Quality?

Your HVAC Contractor Can Make Sure it’s Free of Germs and Airborne Allergens.

Has your HVAC contractor recommended ways to improve your indoor air quality beyond what your heating and air conditioning system can do on its own?

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we employ two devices and methods to kill germs and airborne allergens that aggravate respiratory allergies and make home occupants sick. They are the REME HALO™ in-duct air purifier and the Fresh-aire UV germicidal light. These work differently but both attack contaminants that collect in your system’s coils and ductwork.

REME HALO

This is an in-duct air purifier that brings indoor air quality (IAQ) technology to a very high level. It is truly capable of purifying every cubic inch of air that your central air conditioning system reaches in your home. This device eliminates odors, allergies, and “sick building syndrome” caused by three types of indoor air pollutants: particulates, microbes, and gases.

The REME HALO re-creates Mother Nature’s air purification process to rid your home’s indoor air of common allergens such as mold spores, dander, dust, smoke, and pollen. It eliminates odors from cooking, dirty laundry, smelly pets, and musty rooms that have not been aired out in years (or mildew-ridden basements and attics).

This device is installed into a section of the air conditioning or heating system air ducts called the supply plenum. It produces ionized hydrogen peroxide molecules that are distributed throughout your entire home, and that break down the contaminants in the air upon contact. It’s a much more active air technology that doesn’t wait for pollutants to come to it in the HVAC unit—it proactively sweeps through your home to do its work. And, since hydrogen peroxide occurs naturally in our atmosphere and is part of nature’s air-cleaning process, you’ll have nature-fresh air in every room, thanks to the work of these “friendly oxidizers.”

These units are easy to install and do so much to improve your home’s air quality. Next time you schedule your seasonal maintenance, ask us about installing a REME HALO on your existing HVAC system.

Blue-Tube UV

This product harnesses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill germs, to improve air quality in your home. It’s a whole-house UV light installed directly inside the central air system (like the REME HALO) and eliminates microbes and odors as air cycles through the system. It’s also extends the life of your system and reduces energy and maintenance costs by keeping the coils free of unwanted contaminants.

According to Blue-Tube UV’s manufacturer, indoor air pollution is made up of particulates, mold/germs, and odors/volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although conventional system filters are effective against particulates—that’s part of their job—the Blue-Tube UV sterilizes biological contaminants such as mold, germs, and viruses that are in the air and on your HVAC system’s surfaces (these thrive in the moist, cool environment). In short, it uses low-voltage UV light as a germicidal that disinfects your system. It actually scrambles the microorganisms’ DNA, which then prevents them from reproducing.

Blue-Tube UV kills the mold and the biofilm that collects on your AC coils, keeping the coils cleaner, which helps maintain your system and lengthen its life span. And of course, it keeps your family healthy by ensuring the air you breathe inside your home is free of germs. It comes in a few different lamp configurations to accommodate various size systems and homes.

As always, our HVAC service technicians are here to help, and will be happy to install one of these indoor air quality technologies to fill your home with the great indoors. Ask us about the REME HALO and Blue-Tube UV; we’ll assess your needs and recommend the right device for your HVAC system. Call Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. for your spring maintenance appointment at 973-237-0505 (and don’t forget to take advantage of our spring special pricing).

The Importance of Proper HVAC Training

HVAC Technician - Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & ElectricIf your vehicle’s onboard control panel stops functioning, you wouldn’t allow just anyone work on your car, would you? Of course you would go to a certified auto mechanic. The same goes for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. This is a specialized system with lots of moving parts and is a major investment in your home and your family’s comfort. Servicing an HVAC system requires the expertise and know-how of a well-trained HVAC technician.

HVAC systems comprise costly components; investing in the service and skills of trained technicians to handle maintenance, repair or replacement pays off in many ways:

  • You’re assured that your heat and air conditioning will continue to work efficiently and properly at all times.
  • A highly trained, certified technician protects your HVAC system, your home, and your warranty.
  • A well-trained technician or installer will know the latest and greatest options and repair and maintenance methods. Trust us, you’ll be very sorry if they don’t!
  • Customer service and satisfaction will be much better.

When you call the local HVAC company, ask about its staff’s training and credentials. Make sure the company’s techs have received proper (and well-regarded) industry training and have access to on-the-job or continuing education to stay up with HVAC industry trends and new technologies. After all, today’s heating and cooling systems are always improving; systems being installed today are much more advanced than what was available 10 or 20 years ago. A continuing education program enables technicians to keep their diagnostic, repair, and installation skills sharp—and enable them to offer better customer service.

HVAC training prepares installers and technicians to assess how the unit and ductwork should be configured to accommodate the space or the home’s layout. Installers and technicians must know the newest heating, ventilation and air conditioning designs. They also need to be up to date on crucial safety guidelines and OSHA codes—for everyone’s protection.

Comprehensive training should cover general knowledge all the various areas needed in HVAC work such as electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and refrigerant work. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we have licensed electricians on staff to perform all the electrical work associated with installations and repairs but our technicians are also able to perform light electrical work so they can get the job done efficiently (and correctly). Training also enables technicians to be good diagnosticians. After all, when your heat is out or the air conditioning stops working, don’t you want someone who knows what he or she is talking about to come check out the problem?

Certification is also important. Being certified proves the HVAC technicians have met various industry and government requirements to perform the work properly and safely. For example, at Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we make sure our team members all have North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and those who must handle refrigerants carry EPA Section 608 certification. Note also that HVAC companies must be licensed by the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors, which protects consumers by making sure all work is done in full compliance of state law.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we pride ourselves on our HVAC technicians’ knowledge and skill. Our team offers superior service, earning us accolades on Angie’s List (multiple Super Service awards) and locally in the Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards (Best HVAC Contractor) four years in a row. We are currently hiring HVAC lead installers, HVAC installers, and HVAC service technicians. Interested candidates should send their resumes to us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or by mail to our office: 127 Paterson Avenue, Little Falls, New Jersey 07424.

From Cave Man to Modern Man: The History of Home Heating Technology

We’re no longer cooking food over newly discovered fire unless we’re at a cookout – but that’s how home heating began.

Prehistoric heat
As far back as nearly two million years ago (1,900,000 BC), humans began cooking food over fire. The discovery of fire not only enabled early man to cook his food but to also start heating his domicile in a rudimentary fashion.

Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of humans using fire in this way about 100,000 years ago, with central fires in dwellings that had roof openings to vent the smoke, almost like a tipi. “Fast forward” to around 42,000 BC, by which time the Neanderthals were using mammoth bones to build hearths (as discovered in what is now Ukraine).

Ancient heating systems
In the ancient times of Greek and Roman civilizations—say, 2500 BC—possibly the first central heating system with radiant heat was created. There are flues in the ground in the excavated Temple of Ephesus, for purposes of circulating heat produced by a fire.

This is pretty amazing since it is a precursor to modern-day gas furnaces! Throughout the Roman Empire, there is evidence of central heating systems in some buildings, baths, and upper-class homes; these building what are called “hypocaust furnaces”; these created and distributed heat by warming empty spaces under floors that connected to pipes in the walls—the first form of radiant heating. Similar furnaces were developed by other cultures.

Middle Ages
Unfortunately, with the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, humans took a step back to more primitive fireplaces, which would have warmed up a very limited space. However, things started heating up around 800 AD with the introduction of clay stoves and by the early Renaissance period, monks in Europe brought back a central heating system by diverting river water and heating it with wood-burning furnaces. Ventilation improved as well with the first chimneys. And, just as today, technology continued to improve home heating; masonry stoves became common by the 1500s and chimney construction became more refined.

The (sort-of) modern era
Circulating heat came back—finally!—in the early 1600s with the invention of a circulating fireplace with a raised grate that promoted airflow. By the early 1700s, technology once again brought improvements to citizens in England, who used combustion air from an outside duct to circulate heat. Russia’s Peter the Great equipped his Summer Palace with a hot-water heating system around this time.

In the American colonies, Benjamin Franklin introduced his Franklin stove in 1741, a more efficient model than its competitors. In Scotland in the late 1700s, James Watt got busy developing the first working steam-based heating system for his home; it had a central boiler and pipe system. These advancements signaled a new era in home heating, which was further refined in the early 1800s by England’s William Strutt, who invented a warm-air furnace that could heat cold air. This heated air traveled through ducts into rooms, much as our modern-day central heating does.

A big step towards modern home heating happened in Russia in 1855 with the invention of the radiator and 30 years later, the first thermostat was patented.

20th century heating technology
Electric heat was also being worked out during the late 19th century into the early 20th century. Thomas Edison invented the first electric heater in 1883 and the filament wire that would heat up to toast bread—a precursor to the electrical heating unit—was discovered in the early 1900s.

In 1919, just under 100 years ago, Alice Parker of Morristown, NJ patented the first central heating system. It was the first furnace fueled by natural gas, and Parker’s design enabled cool air from a compartment to be drawn into the furnace, where it was conveyed through a heat exchanger and delivered throughout the house or building through ductwork.

Technology brought forced convection wall heaters using a coal furnace, electric fan, and ductwork in 1935 and direct exchange ground-source (geothermal) heat pumps in the late 1940s. A major innovation came in 1990 with solar air heating and in this century, homes and office buildings are being wired with smart technologies that help occupants regulate the heat remotely and more accurately based on actual use or need.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we’re thankful we can make the latest HVAC technology available to our customers, with top-of-the-line heating (and cooling) systems for homes of all sizes and ages. Read more about our services here, and contact us for a free estimate on your HVAC installation, gas conversion, or system maintenance needs.