It’s the Thanksgiving season! Today we are taking a trip back in history to learn more about the first Thanksgiving, and how it surprisingly relates to the topic of HVAC!
The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts with 50 Pilgrims, 80 Wampanoag Native Americans … and no heat! It probably wasn’t quite as cold as you might think, because it took place in October, so the temperature was likely 50 – 60 degrees. Most paintings of the event depict it as being outside, so it still would have been fairly cold!
What did people do to get heat back in those days? Well, a lot of it was just the clothing worn. Most of the Pilgrims sitting at the table probably wore wool, which has little air pockets in it that keep your body heat insulated and prevent it from escaping. The Pilgrims wore lots of wool clothes we don’t usually wear today, like big woolen waistcoats and wool breeches and stockings. It doesn’t sound very comfy to us, but it’s what they needed to do to survive!
Of course, today, we have more than wool hats, socks, and mittens, and sitting by the fire, to stay warm. Not only do we have furnaces that easily and consistently heat your home, but we also have highly energy-efficient furnaces — often up to 90 to 95% efficient. Whereas, with historic heating methods like a fireplace, the majority of the heat went out of the flue, and never actually made its way into the house. Plus, fireplace heat is very bad at spreading out properly. One has to stay right in front of the fire to keep warm!
Another interesting fact about the first-ever Thanksgiving was that there was probably no turkey being eaten. Or at least, there was no documentation of it. Today, one of our favorite things about Thanksgiving is cooking a giant 20 to 30 pound turkey! But this big fowl does take a long time to cook. Since it does take such a long time in the oven, alongside other typical Thanksgiving dishes, one thing you can do to reduce energy use is, either try to cook multiple dishes in the oven at the same time, or drop the temperature in your home while the oven is busy putting out so much heat. This can save you money on your energy bills! For every degree you drop your thermostat, you save 6 to 12% of the energy being used by your HVAC system.
That’s one piece of information you can be thankful for — just like you can be thankful for great-tasting turkey, time with family, and also, the helpful professionals at Weather Master if you need us. If you need our help in your Raleigh home this Thanksgiving, contact us online or call us at (919) 853-7910!