the white house

Heating & Cooling History Lesson For President’s Day

Have you ever stopped to think about the dramatic advances in the HVAC industry that have happened in a relatively short time? President’s Day is a good reminder of that. Do you realize, if you’re a baby boomer, there’s a good chance the White House did NOT have central air conditioning when you were born? It wasn’t installed until 1952 during a major renovation in the Truman administration.

That little historical tidbit is just one example of the heating and cooling revolution we’ve seen in just a handful of generations. Imagine what your life would be like without the comfort our professionals at Mast Heating & Cooling can provide for you.

President Woodrow Wilson often worked out of an open-air tent set up in the Rose Garden. The 27th president, William Howard Taft, had a screened-in porch built on the roof of the White House so he could sleep outdoors. Can you imagine the Secret Service dealing with THAT security risk in this day and age? Those are just some of the things desperate presidents did to deal with the stifling summer heat in Washington, D.C.

Even central heat was no certainty in the early days of the White House. The first rudimentary system was installed in 1840, nearly 50 years after construction began. At first it only heated rooms on the first floor and took several years to be expanded to the entire house.

Oh, and about the plumbing, well there wasn’t much. When the country’s 2nd president, John Adams and his wife Abigail, moved into the new White House in 1800 they were dismayed to find there was no indoor plumbing. On the plus side, there was little reason to employ a plumber since outhouses meant there was no such thing as a clogged toilet. It wasn’t until 1833 that running water was introduced, mostly for drinking water and to fill reservoirs for fire protection.

Of course, those days are in the past. Today, the White House has 35 bathrooms among its 132 centrally heated and cooled rooms. The White house has a staff of skilled workers to call on if there is a problem. That’s only befitting for the leader of the free world.

On this President’s Day we want you to know that our goal at Mast Heating & Cooling is to serve the residents of Southwest Michigan just as faithfully as the White House staff serves the First Family’s cooling and heating needs.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the history of the White House. Remember, we are here to help with all your home comfort needs, including yearly maintenance and emergency repairs. Contact us today to get started!