A Century of Hydronic Heating In 3 Minutes

Heating our houses using a boiler system or heated water has been around for hundreds of years. Originally heating was, of course, as simple as building a fire you gathered around to heated up the space you’re occupying. From there, central heaths were developed with chimneys, although actual central heating was still a long way off.

The Romans

The first people to develop central heating were not surprisingly, the Romans. The Romans are responsible for all sorts of modern-day gadgetry such as flushing toilets, baths, and underfloor radiant heating. They moved water around using aqueducts. Aqueducts were precisely calibrated water systems that piped water all over the Roman Empire. With a very careful downward angle, water would flow continually and never dry up. Some roman aqueducts are still viable today.

Upper-class houses and public baths had a system called hypocaust where water was heated by a central fire and then piped all over the building. This, in fact, is pretty much what we still do today. Except now anyone can have access to it, you don’t have to be a Roman noble!

After the Romans

After the Roman Empire fell, much of their technology was lost. Europe entered the dark ages, where very little was heated let alone buildings. Castles were dank and dreary, so even royalty had no access to heat. In fact, flushing toilets were only rediscovered during the Middle Ages, 1500 years after the Romans were using them.

The 18th Century

Yes, that is correct. Modern man failed to use hot water to heat anything until the 1700’s. In 1594 an English scholar proposed using steam to heat a greenhouse, but no one took any notice of him, and nothing ever came of it. Up until then, fireplaces and stoves were the only means of heating houses and buildings, even though almost 2000 years earlier the Romans had an entire hypocaust system in place.

In 1710 the Summer Palace of St Peter in Russia was finally heated using a hot water system. The system was rather primitive compared to the Roman’s one, but it was a start.

It was not until around 1840 that hot water heating finally became popular the world over. Back then, boiler repairs must have been a very technical and specialised trade. Luckily today we have the benefit of modern technology and experience. Aqueduct Heating has a name with ties to ancient Romans, and with great reason. They, as do we, know what they were doing!

Visit Aqueduct Heating Services in Melbourne for all your hydronic heating Melbourne solutions today.

Author: Aqueduct Heating