Fun Facts About Cooling the Executive Mansion
Today's White House is a modern marvel that stands as a representation of Western democracy. However, it had humble beginnings. Built in a new government district sectioned off from portions of Maryland and Virginia, the White House lacked all of the amenities that make modern construction comfortable. The nation's first presidents used privies on the White House lawn and worked by lamps after the sun went down.
The nation's capital is located in what used to be swampland along the Potomac River. The area is known for its high humidity and uncomfortably warm summer temperatures. This President's Day, homeowners should take a moment to appreciate the nation's early presidents by learning about the heating and cooling upgrades that have been done to the White House.
Take It Outside!
Options for cooling down in the heat of the D.C. summers were scarce. Most presidents opted to work with windows open to let what little air was available. But some of the presidents found that opening windows wasn't quite enough. President Taft was so tired of dealing with summer heat that he had a special porch built on the White House roof. The screened-in porch gave him a cool retreat where he slept on hot, humid summer nights.
President Wilson took another similar approach. He was so tired of the summer heat that he moved his office outside. At the time, a large canvas tent was still on the lawn. The tent was leftover from President Roosevelt's administration. President Wilson had lighting installed and phone lines run to it to carry on business outside in the breeze.
Running Up the Cooling Bills with President Nixon
After a major renovation in the 1950s, the entire White House had HVAC technology installed. Up until that time, only portions had been upgraded. When the green movement started in the 1970s, President Johnson would walk around the White House, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. He made up for his energy savings by keeping his quarters so cold that he had to sleep under an electric blanket.
Possibly in response to the growing environmentalist movement, President Nixon kept the thermostat set low. The Nixon White House was renowned for being a chilly place. Contrary to his desire to keep things cool, he had fireplaces that he kept burning even in the summer because he liked them.
History of Heating
The original White House was heated like any other dwelling at the time, mainly with coal stoves or wood fireplaces. The first rudimentary heating systems were furnaces installed in the early 1800s that had plaster ducts. Only two White House sections were lucky enough to get the heat.
As technology got better, the White House was upgraded. During the renovation under the Truman administration, he upgraded the White House to modern heat and cooling standards.
About Easco Air Conditioning and Heating
Easco Air Conditioning and Heating has over 30 years helping Conroe, TX homeowners keep their HVAC systems running. They have competitive upfront pricing so their customers know they're getting the best for their money. Their trained technicians take the time to educate their customers on their options. Call now for HVAC services!