Humans have sensed the importance of home ventilation since ancient times. The Egyptians moved air with fans made of lotus leaves to ventilate houses. Matts wet with river water were placed in the air flow to add the cooling effect of evaporation. Greeks and Romans ventilated with large hand-held fans, too, but they favored peacock feathers. In China around 180 A.D., an inventor in the Han dynasty developed a huge rotary fan, 10 feet in diameter and powered by a single human, that could reportedly ventilate an entire hall in the palace.
The Ventilation Connection
Home ventilation in the U.S. has a long history, as well. Early on, people recognized that inadequate indoor ventilation had some connection to illness and communicable diseases. While they didn’t have the technology to identify invisible microbes responsible for sickness, experience taught them that a room ventilated with fresh air was simply healthier for patients than motionless, stagnant air.
Invented by a German immigrant, Philip Diehl, electric ceiling fans were installed in hospitals by the late 1800s to keep air in motion and support healthful indoor air quality. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, both ceiling fans and smaller oscillating room fans became the must-have ventilation appliance for homeowners, as well.
A Cool Accident
When an engineer named Willis Carrier invented the device he called an “air conditioner” in 1902, he was actually attempting to reduce sweltering indoor humidity. However, his patented process that utilized a coil circulating refrigerant to condense water vapor out of incoming air also had the pleasant side-effect of extracting the heat, too, thus creating cool ventilation.
21st Century Ventilation
Today, advances in home ventilation include heat recovery ventilators that intake fresh outdoor air while exhausting a precisely equal volume of stale indoor air. This maintains neutral air balance inside the house. To avoid furnace heat loss in winter, the system also extracts heat energy from the outgoing stream and adds it back into incoming fresh air.
For more about the benefits of modern home ventilation, contact the experts at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.