Presidents’ Day White House HVAC Fun Facts

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To commemorate Presidents’ Day 2021, we pulled together some interesting White House HVAC facts and trivia that you may find quite intriguing. Enjoy!

  • The First White House Heating system was a Pettibone furnace, installed in 1801, while James Madison was in office.
  • The first central heating system was installed in 1837.
  • President Polk added a heating system expansion in 1845 to help keep the second-floor rooms warm and cozy during the winter months.
  • President Taylor added onto that heating system by bringing it into the offices and the family’s living quarters and basement in 1850.
  • In 1853, President Pierce added a hot water furnace. This was a very early example of an efficiency upgrade.
  • During the 1860s, President Lincoln continued the HVAC expansion in the White House by adding a gas heating system.
  • An early and experimental form of air conditioning was installed into President Garfield’s bedroom to help him heal after he was shot in the summer of 1881. The air conditioner used electric blowers that forced air through a long, iron box encased with cotton screens.
  • In 1910, President Taft installed another early AC system which cooled the air using ice blocks in the attic of the White House. It wasn’t successful, so it was quickly removed.
  • After a fire damaged the West Wing in 1929, a major air conditioning upgrade began. This is considered the first central AC system in the White House.
  • More air conditioning units were added throughout the private quarters on the second floor of the White House during the FDR administration.
  • President Nixon maintained such a cold temperature inside the White House, he kept a fireplace burning throughout the summer.
  • During his time in office, President Trump felt that the White House had inadequate air conditioning, and replaced the 27-year-old system with a new high-efficiency system.

Presidential-Level HVAC Service for You and Your Family

No, you don’t have to be the leader of the free world to get quality HVAC service. Simply call the experts at Bruce’s Air Conditioning and Heating today to schedule a visit by one of our experts.
Happy President’s Day!