Things Americans Don’t Know About the White House

President’s Day is the time of year that most Americans like to brush up on all things political, including the White House. The home on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is perhaps the most famous in the United States, but some Americans don’t know some things. Today, local HVAC professionals want to shed a little knowledge about the White House HVAC system and how it came to be. It’s a house that has seen many families, and every one of them has had their heating and cooling preferences.

A Hard Day’s Work

The White House saw its first cooling system after President James A. Garfield’s tragic assassination, who was trying to cool off when he was shot in a train station. President Taft tried to create a cooling system, which consisted of great metal fans blowing over ice in the attic. This creation didn’t work the best and was soon abandoned. Taft then upgraded to a “sleeping porch” that was essentially a tent on the White House roof.

Wilson began his presidency by saying he wouldn’t use Taft’s creations because it was “up to him to keep himself cool.” However, he soon realized that he needed his way to cool down and decided to use a tent on the White House’s southwest corner near the Rose Garden.

During this time, a Navy group worked tirelessly to provide the White House with a cooling system sufficient to keep the presidents safely cool indoors.

Fireplaces in the Summer

During Nixon’s presidency, the White House saw many different issues, including a cooling problem. However, during this time, many people complained that the White House was too cold for them.

Nixon was a particular man that didn’t compromise much. He kept the White House so cool that it forced others to keep the fireplaces on during the summer. However, he didn’t keep the house cool because he was hot all the time. Instead, Nixon enjoyed working near a roaring fire so much that he kept the house cold enough to enjoy a fire all year round.

Nixon worked every day in the same place with his same brown chair, listening to his favorite music, “The Score of Victoria at Sea.”

Space Heat

The White House first saw a heating system in 1840, when a gravity hot air system was installed in the Transverse Hall and State Rooms. At the time, this was a monumental achievement and progression forward.

Here’s a closer look at how the system worked:

  • It was a self-contained furnace with an inner firebox of iron
  • The furnace was enclosed by plastered brick for safety
  • Ducts ran from the outer shell and the furnace itself

Even after the White House had a semi-intelligent heating and electrical system, presidents and their families were hesitant to use the systems out of fear of fire or electrocution. It took a while for humans to accept heating and cooling systems, like electrical systems.

Conway Comfort Heating & Cooling Understands Efficiency

The HVAC system is nothing to mess with. Homeowners should have a heating and cooling company they can trust to service their HVAC system as soon as a breakdown occurs. Conway Comfort Heating & Cooling is that HVAC company. They are there when customers need them most. Call today to schedule heating and cooling service!


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