Best Invention of the 20th Century… Air Ducts!

Best Invention of the 20th Century… Air Ducts!

It’ll be impossible to find someone who can speak for living conditions in the late 1800s. But you don’t need to find anyone to vouch for the fact that it could be miserable suffering through the unbearable August days without air conditioning or the invention of ductwork. Luckily HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling exists today. Fortunately, we’re not stuck back in the days of suffering from unpredictable weather. We’ve got you covered and can service your HVAC system to keep the temperatures stable in your home. This includes cleaning those ducts for free-flowing air. When you look at the history of air ducts, you’ll see that they work hand-in-hand with HVAC systems.

Back in the Day

If there were no HVAC systems or highways of ductwork, what did people do to beat the heat? They modified their lives to keep extreme temperatures at bay.

First, houses were generally constructed of bricks or materials that didn’t hold the heat. Back then, residents welcomed a cool and drafty home.

Baking and cooking never happened at high noon. Keeping the kitchen vacant reduced unnecessary heat in the home.

Blocks of ice and fans were a popular combination. In the 1800s, the highlight of a hot Summer day was sitting in front of a large block of ice as a fan blew refreshing air on your skin.

Awnings cast welcomed shadows into buildings during the 19th century. Residents basked in cooling darkness to avoid frying in direct sunlight.

Long gone are the 1800s. With the turn of the century, HVAC systems and air ducts entered the picture as a standard. HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling and others came into the picture as soon as people had the option to temperature control their homes.

The Beginning of HVAC Systems, Furnaces, and the Need for Ductwork

Heating and cooling concepts are as old as time. The Chinese and Greeks began creating flues and chimneys to pave the way for modern ductwork back in the 7th Century.

Ductwork premiered in the heating arena before cooling systems were created. Fireplaces and then radiators heated homes until 1935. Then the first forced-air furnace began a new way of heating; coal-heated air circulated through ductwork in the house to warm the environment. One can only imagine how filthy those ducts were. Cleaning them would eventually become a priority.

Let’s fast forward to 1902, when the air conditioning and ductwork revolution took off. Carrier Air Conditioning Company invented a way to blow air over cold coils. The initial focus landed on textile companies to remove humidity from the air. The concept started in an effort to keep pages of paper from wrinkling under humid conditions in the factory.

Trane, which offers HVAC products, was established in 1913… early on with the ductwork and cooling revolution. HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling uses the long-established products from Trane. The company dates as far back as when AC and ductwork delivery was revolutionary.

The first air conditioning unit was installed just after Trane’s establishment. In 1914, an immense unit towering at seven feet high and six feet wide dominated where it stood. Luckily, HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling won’t consume so much space when installing a unit for your home.

Ductwork Isn’t Even a Given in Some Places

It’s hard to believe, but certain homes and businesses in our country still operate on hot water heating, and you won’t find ducts worming their way through the attic or any other place on the property. These places may have radiators or floorboards emitting heat. It’s possible that air conditioning doesn’t even exist in these places if there’s no delivery system available. But, if a home doesn’t currently contain ductwork, it’s something that an HVAC technician can install.

HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling has the expertise to address anything duct-related. If your place currently contains ductwork, which most properties now do, HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling can come out and clean them to keep them in the same condition as their installation day.

Ductwork comes hand in hand with heating and cooling systems. Ducts act as the conduit to deliver air from HVAC units through the vents in your home or business. We’ve come a long way from campfires, inefficient heating, ice blocks, and poor cooling solutions. One of the most important system elements that keep your home or business cozy and warm or crisp and cool consists of ductwork. Please don’t take it for granted, and remember that cleaning out those ducts will keep your heat and air moving without any obstacles. HVAC Knoxville company Gent Heating and Cooling would be happy to ensure your ducts are clean and clear for smooth operation.


Gent Heating and Cooling provide heating and air conditioning for residential and commercial clients in Knoxville, Knox County, and the surrounding East Tennessee area. Over 20 Years experience. Customer Service is Our Top Priority. We strive to be on time, provide accurate estimates, and have most replacement products on our service vehicles.

Call 865-213-9202 or email