How Women Have Helped Shape the Heating and Cooling Industry

Women in the HVAC Field

From the innovations of early female inventors to the prominent women working in HVAC today, it is impossible to deny that women have influenced the heating and cooling industry. In honor of Women’s History Month, read on to learn more about how pioneering ladies revolutionized heating and cooling systems and explore women's presence in the HVAC field today. 

Women in HVAC Today

With early pioneers in the industry, one would think that women would be better represented in today’s HVAC industry. However, despite the achievements of women in the field of heating and cooling at the turn of the last century, women today represent a small percentage of workers in the HVAC field. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 1.4% of HVAC technicians in the U.S. were female in 2018. However, the industry is expected to grow rapidly, opening the door for more women to pursue a career in it. There is also an organization that supports women in the HVAC field. Women in HVACR offer scholarships, mentorships, networking opportunities, and much more to help women succeed in this male-dominated field. 

Alice H. Parker 

alice One of the earliest female pioneers in the HVAC field was Alice H. Parker. Parker lived in New Jersey in the early 1900s, and the cold winters there inspired her famous patent. Hoping to find a better way to heat the home, she developed and patented a natural gas furnace with ductwork, an idea revolutionary for its time. 

Most homeowners at the time were heating their homes with wood or coal, but fireplaces could not effectively heat an entire home. Her design used principles still in use today, including natural gas as fuel for a furnace and using air ducts to evenly distribute the heat through a house. Her original designs were never put into production but influenced modern heating systems. 

Margaret Ingels 

margaret Margaret Ingels was the first female engineering graduate from the University of Kentucky and the second female engineering graduate in the U.S. She was a pioneering engineer whose innovations in air conditioning changed the field. Her developments included controlling humidity, temperature, ventilation, and other factors of indoor comfort. 

When working for the Carrier Corporation, she developed the psychrometric chart, which quantified the relationship between air temperature and humidity. This chart provided a more accurate understanding of the conditions necessary for comfortable indoor air quality, helping improve air conditioners. Ingels was a pioneer in air conditioning technology, and her innovations influenced modern air conditioners.

About Morrow Mechanical

Morrow Mechanical has more than 20 years of experience serving Spring, TX, and surrounding communities. They provide same-day service, honest pricing, and financing. Call them today for indoor air quality, air conditioning, and heating services in Spring, TX.

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Slash Cooling Costs This Summer Using These 3 Tips!

Pro Tips for Spending Less While Staying Cool This Summer

With summer rolling in, air conditioning season is in full swing. Unfortunately, summer is also the season of massive electricity bills for most Texas homeowners. The same AC that keeps the house nice and cool uses more energy than any other appliance. 

But staying cool in the year's hottest months shouldn’t cost a fortune. This article will outline three easy ways for homeowners to save money by cutting their cooling costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience. 

Upgrade To a Programmable or Smart Thermostat

thermostat One of the best things homeowners can do to improve their home’s energy efficiency is to get rid of their old manual thermostat and install a programmable thermostat - or better yet, a smart thermostat. The two are similar in that they allow homeowners to create a custom cooling schedule to fit their habits, selecting the desired temperature for any time of day. This “set it and forget it” function can reduce energy waste and enhance convenience.

But intelligent thermostats have additional features that set them apart from basic programmable models. They can be controlled using a smartphone or other device from virtually anywhere, making it easy to adjust the temperature as needed. Secondly, some models track usage patterns and make suggestions or automatic adjustments to maximize efficiency.

Other possible smart thermostat features include occupancy sensors, zone sensors, energy reports, weather and performance alerts, and geofencing (technology that detects whether or not the homeowners are within a certain radius of the home and turns the AC on or off accordingly). With all these energy-saving features, it’s no surprise that smart thermostats can help homeowners save anywhere from 10-23% on their heating and cooling costs.

Add Weatherstripping To Windows and Doors

A new thermostat can work wonders for optimizing efficiency, but if cold air is escaping through gaps under doors and around the edges of windows, it defeats the purpose. And unfortunately, the more significant the temperature difference between the indoor and outdoor air, the faster cold air will rush out, and warm air will flow in to take its place.

Homeowners can install weatherstripping around windows and exterior doors to solve this problem. Various weatherstripping ranges, from vinyl tubing and foam tape to metal V-strips and magnetic gaskets. But they all serve the same purpose: sealing the gaps where air can escape.

Weatherstripping is an effective and inexpensive method for improving energy efficiency. Most homeowners will be able to install it themselves without much effort (though some types are a little trickier than others). The best part is that the benefits of weatherstripping last all year long, as it does just as well at keeping warm air inside during the colder seasons so that homeowners can enjoy lower heating and cooling costs with this one simple tip!

Turn Down the AC and Crank Up the Fans

fan Finally, with the new thermostat and weather strips in place, it’s time to cut costs the old-fashioned way - by relying less on air conditioning and more on fans. As mentioned, air conditioners consume more electricity than anything else in the house. Ceiling fans, by comparison, consume very little energy. 

Raising the temperature setting on the thermostat by 7-10 degrees for about 8 hours can save up to 10% on cooling costs (roughly one percentage point per degree). During the summer, the Dept. of Energy recommends keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees while at home and even a few degrees higher while away (not accounting for any pets in the house). That may seem high, but that’s where the fans come in.

Fans help circulate cold air throughout the house and produce a pleasant breeze that can help carry off heat energy from the skin, effectively lowering body temperature and making the house feel more relaxed. In the summer, ceiling fans should be set to spin counterclockwise (when viewed from below), which will push air down. A clockwise spin will circulate warm air that has risen to the ceiling, which is helpful in the winter but not so much in the summer.

With these tips, homeowners can sit back, enjoy the cool air, and watch with glee as their electric bills shrink!

About Morrow Mechanical

Morrow Mechanical has provided the residents of Spring, TX, and The Greater Houston Area with award-winning service for over 20 years. They offer same-day service, upfront pricing, financing, and extended hours with no additional after-hours fee. Call them today for air conditioning services in Spring, TX.