A Brief History of Thermostats

A key component of HVAC maintenance is the thermostat. It controls how much the temperature of each home should be. Essential to keeping you cool (or warm), thermostats are often overlooked. To honor this revolutionary tool, we take a careful look at its history.

Invention: 1830

Back when people had to rely on their senses, regulating temperature was troublesome. Many had to rely on fireplaces and furnaces to warm themselves up. The problem was that it required a lot of physical effort, not to mention resources like firewood and coal.

Things changed in 1830 when a Scottish chemist named Andrew Ure patented the thermostat. He was made of bi-metallic materials and would bend according to the temperature. While it was a remarkable invention, it was considered hardly useful. This resulted in a long wait before it could become important to HVAC repair.

Rise to Popularity: 1883

The thermostat’s popularity rose once the American inventor Warren Johnson stepped in. Unhappy with the cold, he invented an electric thermostat. While it couldn’t directly change the temperature, it was used to signal janitors. This way, he could ask them to adjust the furnace without leaving the room.

Innovation: 1885

Two years later, a Swiss inventor named Albert Butz radically changed the use of thermostats. Ure’s could only detect temperature changes, while Johnson’s could only use it as a signal. Butz went a step further, by letting him adjust it on command.

His device was connected to a pulley system, which allowed one to open and close the furnace door. It was a rudimentary design, the first-ever operational thermostat. Since then, many homes have enjoyed a more advanced form.

At Bounds Heating & Air, we can help you monitor and regulate your own thermostats. We provide professional air conditioning repair and install different products for your HVAC system. This includes heaters, humidifiers, and cooling systems.

Call us at 352-290-3370 or fill out our contact form to request a free quote. We serve many areas in Florida, including Alachua, FL.