HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) is a big part of modern society. However, it wasn’t always such a vital part of life like it is today. Ventilation is an important part of indoor air quality. Without a constant supply of ventilation, contaminants generated indoors could lead to serious health issues. Your Lake of the Ozarks HVAC company has taken a look at the history of ventilation and how it became a part of the heating and cooling systems we use today.
Ancient Egyptians recognized the need for ventilation when they noticed that the stone carvers working inside had a higher amount of respiratory distress than those working outside. They attributed this to the higher amount of dust that was accumulated indoors. They realized they needed a way to ventilate the space they were working in, so they created air shafts to control the dust in the workspace.
The importance of clean air can also be dated back to the Ancient Romans. The earliest architect whose written records are known to exist is Vitruvius Pollio. He said that towns should be located “without marshes in the neighborhood, for when the morning breezes blow toward the town at sunrise, if they bring with them mists from marshes and, mingled with the mist, the poisonous breath of the creatures of the marshes to be wafted into the bodies of the inhabitants, they will make the site unhealthy.”
The Importance of Ventilation and Health
When open fires for cooking and heating moved indoors, there needed to be a way for indoor ventilation. Smoke exited through cracks and holes in roofs. However, these early flues did not vent particularly well, as a large number of deaths were linked to carbon-monoxide inhalation. During the coal mining era in France around the 1500s, ventilating machines were created to improve the air quality in the mines. There was a series of fans with blades that directed fresh air into the shaft. This was also the time that chimneys were introduced to America from Europe.
After the Industrial Revolution, ventilation technologies made major advancements. By 1866, the U.S. Capitol was equipped with ventilating fans. The U.S. deputy surgeon general published “The Principles of Ventilation and Heating and Their Practical Application” in 1884. This was a comprehensive text providing standards and specification for properly ventilating large public buildings. This publication was incorporated into numerous building codes from 1900 – 1920s. Soon after, ASHVE was introduced as the industry standard.
As more architects used mechanical ventilations in buildings, the cost of outdoor air ventilation came into question. It is preferred to minimize ventilation in cold, warm or dusty climates to conserve energy, cost or filtration. This led to ASHRAE, which reduced outdoor ventilation rates in 1981. In 2004, ASHRAE changed from space by space ventilation rate recommendations to include both an occupant-based contamination component and an area-based contamination component.
Cleaner Air with Royal Heating & Air
Ventilation is an important part of heating and cooling homes. If your home is not properly cooling during these summer months, call our Lake of the Ozarks HVAC maintenance company. Royal Heating & Air is a full-service, locally owned and operated HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks. We can help you with anything from preventative maintenance to a complete HVAC installation. Call 573-480-4313 today to see how Royal Heating & Air can help you.