Space Heating

History of Space Heating

Early central heating seems to have developed along several lines that included hearths and fireplaces, stoves, and underfloor systems. Fixed central hearths date as far back as 2500 B.C. They were excavated in Greece.

Crude fireplace heating was used as early as the 800s A.D., and was widespread in Europe by the 13th century. Castles built at that time had fireplaces that had a short flue to the outside, a crude form of chimney. All of the early fireplaces were constructed entirely of stone, but casting technology improvements led to the introduction of cast iron firebacks designed to protect the stone from direct fire heat.

Louis Savot of France invented the raised grate and designed a circulating fireplace in the early 1600s. Savot used a hollow iron bottom and back in the hearth, through which cold room air entered at the bottom, was warmed, and entered the room through openings above the mantle.

In England, another improvement was to provide combustion air through a duct from the outside. A French priest (actually a Cardinal) wrote the first comprehensive manual on fireplace design, Mechanique du Feu, in 1713. The science of fireplace construction reached its zenith with Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, who published Chimney Fireplaces in 1796.

Like fireplaces, stoves also first appeared in the 800s as crude devices made from clay bricks. Masonry stoves became common in northern Europe by the 1500s. The stoves, called Russian or Swedish stoves, were very large. Later versions were very ornate, with tile coverings.

The earliest metal stoves, appearing after 1400, were made of cast iron hearth firebacks connected together. Later, cast iron sections were designed specifically for stove construction, and Holland and Germany became leading centers for iron stove manufacturing.

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Plumbing Emergencies

Top 5 Most Common Residential Plumbing Emergencies

Clogged drains, damaged pipes, and gas leaks are the most common residential emergency plumbing situations that people summon their plumber for. The irony is that such plumbing emergencies can be prevented by us from the start. Indeed emergency plumbers report that plumbing negligence is the number one cause for stubborn obstructions in drains and defective pipes. Surprisingly this indicates that we value our cars more than our home. Why? Simply because we service our cars once a year while we dismiss doing the same to our plumbing systems until we face a plumbing emergency by which time it is too late to undo the damage done to our home.

In general preventive maintenance to your home’s plumbing, every once in a while, will not only keep plumbing fixtures, drains and pipes in good condition for a long time, but will further allow you to spot early problems and have them fixed before they escalate to costly plumbing emergencies. When you encounter an emergency plumbing situation you can take steps to reduce damage to the minimum thereby cutting down your plumbing cost too.

Follow the top 5 common emergency plumbing troubles and their repair:

1 – Burst Pipes: Your top objective until the emergency plumber arrives on the scene is stop water flowing out of the hole. Locate the main shutoff valve to your house and close it. Turning off the shutoff valve will close the water supply to the fixtures and therefore stop the flood. Next turn on cold water taps to drain quickly pipes from trapped water and steam. After damage controlling the emergency call in your plumber to repair or replace the burst section of the pipe.

2 – Frozen Pipes: When water in pipes freeze they expand and may even burst the pipe. Close the main shutoff valve. If the pipe has not split yet, thaw it with hot water bottles from the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. Thawing must be gentle, never with a naked flame, to avoid thermal water expansion that too can split the pipe. As a preventive maintenance make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated against the cold months.

3 – Leaky Plumbing Fixtures: Close the shutoff valve singular to the leaky fixture. Check the fixture’s trap for debris, hair, soap scum, and food particles that might obstruct its opening and cause overflowing of the fixture. Contact your emergency plumber for effective plumbing repair.

4 – Blocked Drains & Toilets: Try to lift the obstruction by means of a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If such plumbing tools fail to dislodge the clog, call in your plumber.

5- Gas leaks: When smelling gas simply evacuate the building. Gas leaks do not lend themselves to D.I.Y repair due to their deadly nature in the wrong hands. Once outside the home call in your emergency plumber or Gas Company. You can and under professional guidance attempt to turn off the gas meter at the control valve.

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Plumber of the Year Awards

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Energy Saver Guide

  • Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use — TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Air dry clothes.
  • Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
  • Drive sensibly; aggressive driving such as speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking, wastes fuel.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Read more from the US Department of Energy.

Reasons to Change Your Air Filter This Winter

Among the many benefits of having your filter serviced by a licensed contractor is having the furnace air filter changed. Replacing your furnace’s air filter has a number of benefits both to your system and the quality of the air in your house. These benefits include:

Increase the Lifespan of your System – One of the primary reasons that heating systems break down is dirty air filters. These systems can overheat when air cannot pass through the filter, and this means the system has to work harder to heat your home on cold days. Routine maintenance that includes installing clean filters will help increase the lifespan of your system.
Decrease your Energy Costs – Your heating system uses more energy to operate with clogged air filters. These systems have to work much harder to get your home up to temperature in the winter. Simply replacing an older filter with a clean one will help to keep your energy costs low.
Improve the Quality of the Air in your Home – People with allergies and asthma know all too well how important internal air quality can be. Old, dirty filters can negatively impact the quality of the air in your home. In addition, people with pets can see an increase in pet dander in the system due to dirty air filters. Changing filters regularly will help keep the quality of the air clean and free of allergens.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Water Heaters

Great graphic from the U.S. Department of Energy detailing everything you want to know about water heaters.



Annapolis Noland Bath and Kitchen Idea Center

At Annapolis Noland we have a full kitchen & bath showroom featuring premier brands including American Standard, Moen, Toto, Elkay and much more. Come and visit us and meet with an experienced showroom consultant who has the expertise to work with you on selecting the perfect products to help your dream kitchen or bath become a reality. Take a look at an image gallery of our showroom and give us a call at 410-263-9261 to set up an appointment today!



We will also be adding a monthly newsletter to keep customers up to date on rebates, specials and events that are coming up at Annapolis Noland. To join our mailing list, simply fill out the form below:

Tips for Saving Money on Your Water Bill

Did you know that if you can reduce your water bill by just $25 each month you’ll have an extra $300 in your pocket at the end of the year?

U.S. News & World Report offers a list of six easy ways that any household can save money on their monthly water bill.  These include:

1.  Store Cold Water in the Fridge
Rather than running the tap for the water to cool, fill a pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator for when you want a glass of cold water.

2. Take Shorter Showers
If you reduce shower time by 4 minutes, you save nearly 4,000 gallons per year.

3. Don’t Let the Water Run when Shaving or Brushing Your Teeth
This mistake is a complete waste of water and you’ll see money you can save literally going down the drain!

4. Install a Low-Flow Shower Head
You can reduce water used in the shower by as much as 50 percent with a low-flow shower head.

5. Run Full Loads of Dishes & Laundry
Running these appliances only when full reduces the number of times that you’ll need to run them.

6. Don’t Hand-Wash Dishes
YOu will use 1/6 less water by running a full load in the dishwasher.

To read the full article at U.S. News & World Report, click here.

Connect with Annapolis Noland!

Annapolis Noland is excited to launch our new website and many additional features that will help our customers stay connected, learn about rebates & specials, as well as product training and other special events we will be scheduling in the near future. You can like our Facebook page, which is located at and also follow us on Twitter at


We will also be adding a monthly newsletter to keep customers up to date on rebates, specials and events that are coming up at Annapolis Noland. To join our mailing list, simply fill out the form below: