Ancient HVAC – Roman Hypocaust System

Almost every household in America owns some type of HVAC system. The coziness and comfort, that the HVAC provides, are today taken for granted. But what about our predecessors? Have the ancient civilizations had the luxury of perfectly heated living areas? When did the idea of a heating and ventilation system emerge?

Although there is evidence of some form of cooling and heating system among Indians and ancient Egyptians, the most advanced ancient HVAC is the Roman hypocaust system.

Installation of the hypocaust system wasn’t a simple and undemanding task. The first requirement was the furnace, situated in the basement. Next, by using the pillars, the ancient engineers would elevate the floor, so that the air could circulate. Finally, the walls had to be covered with ceramic tiles in order to maintain the heat.

Only the rich Romans could afford the hypocaust, as it was expensive and complicate to build. However, the common people of ancient Rome did have a chance to enjoy pleasures of hypocaust-heated rooms in Roman public baths – thermae.

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