Thread Number: 73405  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
early forced air residential furnaces...
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Post# 969430   11/22/2017 at 18:26 (360 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

anybody know when the first forced air residential furnaces first appeared ? About 10 years ago,a furnace blower was brought to me to have the motor replaced-motor,an Emerson dated 1936,was said to be the original one and the blower did appear to be very old with nickel plated oilers and hardware(motor did too) that would date it to ~mid 1930s :)BTW the start winding in the motor was burnt because of gummy centrifugal switch,otherwize it was in good condition after many decades on the job :)I kept the motor and will rewind it if I need a 1936 1/3 HP motor.Blowers seem to have always been belt drive until a few direct drive began to appear in the early 1960s to become the norm by early 1970s.Some brands offered belt drive option as recent as the early 1980s.

Post# 969439 , Reply# 1   11/22/2017 at 19:17 (360 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I would say forced air became available around the same time electricity started becoming commonplace - in the 20s-30s. As for being common I don't think forced air heat became common til the post war era. I've seen plenty of homes built in the mid to late 40s fitted with forced air ductwork, I've seen them from the same era fitted with gravity hot air ductwork too. Also common was adding a blower onto a gravity hot air coal furnace, I've seen a number of those where the blower was stripped out but the box was still there attached to the return plenum.

Post# 969441 , Reply# 2   11/22/2017 at 19:22 (360 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Not exactly sure

But I think in the late twenties early thirties they were gaining popularity. Many old gravity furnaces had blowers added to then then. About the oldest one I ever saw was a early 1900s. Lennox torrid zone. Converted from a coal stoker to gas in the 50s the blower was added in the 40s it was used until about 2005 if I had of had a place to put it I would have saved it. Still working perfectly. As for direct drive blowers. They came out in the 50s they were used on cheaper furnaces. Now they are pretty
Much the norm. I hate them. T drive is much quieter and easier to fix.

Post# 969448 , Reply# 3   11/22/2017 at 19:42 (360 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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As a kid, we originally had a coal/wood Wood and Bishop furnace, made right in Bangor. Eventually an oil burner was added where the bottom door was before I was born and a wooden box with a big fan created the forced air. In the mid 60's, heat exchanger cracked and was replaced with a Sears Homart that was MUCH warmer. But it was mid to late 50's before gravity hot air furnaces (octopuses)were helped with an add on unit around here as fuel oil was cheap then and it was worth converting. By the late 50's, nobody messed with coal or wood it seemed.

Post# 969456 , Reply# 4   11/22/2017 at 20:57 (360 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
1935 for lennox.

found 1935 was first year for lennox forced air residential.One of the earlier direct drive blowers I had found,~1961,had a Delco "inside out"motor in the center of the wheel.

Post# 969461 , Reply# 5   11/22/2017 at 21:43 (360 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

My grandma's 1960 Carrier had a direct drive blower.

Post# 969472 , Reply# 6   11/22/2017 at 23:13 (360 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I'm not sure here in Florida - I don't think most of the old houses had forced air or boilers unless they were really big homes of the super wealthy. Usually just small gas heaters in the wall, or an oil or kerosene heater that worked by convection or perhaps a small fan to blow the air.

Central heat I would guess first was common around the late 1950s/early 60s, along with central a/c, but again many just had a heater in the living room and bathrooms.

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