Have you ever wondered how furnaces came to be? Do you know any facts about heating? Or, do you love random knowledge to boost your trivia game skills? Well, here are ten fun facts about furnaces you can impress your friends and neighbors with at your next game night.

10 Fun Facts About Furnaces

1. The word ‘furnace’ has Greek origins.

It’s believed that the word ‘furnace’ originates from the Greek word ‘formax,’ which means oven.

2. Furnace technology is an ancient art.

People have been using some version of a furnace for a very long time. In 1200 B.C., the Romans utilized hypocausts. Hypocausts are a system of central heat that pumps heated air through the floors and walls of the house. They also used them for warming baths and other public buildings. Of course, only the rich could afford the cost of hypocausts.

Some excavations in Pakistan have also revealed central heating systems, which means they used hypocausts about 2000 years earlier than the Romans.

3. The word ‘furnace’ doesn’t mean the same in Britain.

The word ‘furnace’ doesn’t mean the same for the British as it does for Americans. The term ‘furnace’ for them refers to the metallurgical furnaces used for smelting iron ore, lead, or copper. They call their heating systems ‘central heating.’

4. They keep your pipes from freezing.

It might surprise you to learn that your furnace helps keep your water lines from freezing temperatures. Without it, the water lines in your home would freeze in approximately three days if turned off and unused.

5. Natural gas and propane are the most common heating units in the U.S.

If your home has a natural gas furnace, you aren’t alone. It’s the most common heating source in the U.S. because they have such high-efficiency ratings. While gas is more common, many people in rural areas choose propane since it doesn’t require pipelines to supply the gas.

6. There are five types of standard gas furnaces.

  • Horizontal Gas Furnace
  • Package Gas Furnace (also comes with an air conditioner)
  • Up Flow Gas Furnace
  • Down Flow Gas Furnace
  • Lowboy Gas Furnace (shorter units designed for tight spaces)

7. The first gas company opened in 1836.

Philadelphia is home to the first municipally-owned natural gas company established in 1836. Philadelphia Gas Works is the biggest and longest-operating public gas company in the region.

8. Chinese nationals first delivered natural gas through pipelines.

Around 500 B.C., Chinese nationals used bamboo to trap and carry the gas to the heating system.

9. The ‘Stack Effect’ describes how air moves through a building.

The Stack Effect Principle refers to the movement of air through spaces, most specifically, the rising of heat in buildings. During the colder months, the warm air inside is less dense than the cold air outside. That warm air bubble wants to rise up and out of the building.

This rising air causes cold air to draw into the cracks at the bottom of the home. It’s why your basement is colder than the highest floor in your home. It’s also why leaky houses consume larger amounts of energy.

10. They really do need maintenance.

Did you know that a six-room house collects an average of forty pounds of dust a year? You can see why regular maintenance is so important to your heating system’s efficiency and longevity.

Do you need quick service done right? You need Advantage Air & Service. Our experienced and certified technicians proudly serve the Greater Northwest Arkansas region. We can help you with all your heating and cooling needs. Ask about our maintenance plans and keep your family comfortable and your furnace healthy year-round. Call us today at 479.361.8647.