THE SECRET LIFE OF MACHINES: The Central Heating System

by Tim Hunkin

At first Roman houses simply had a fire in the middle of the room (the Latin for hearth is focus). But they probably had trouble with smoke as the Latin for living room is atrium (from ater meaning black). By about 400AD the Romans had perfected a form of central heating. The fire was lit outside in a furnace with hot air ducts under the floors and in the walls.

The Central Heating System cartoon