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Nov 16, 2023 10:24:39 AM by Logan Donahue

Fascinating Ways Our Ancestors Kept Warm: Part 1

In the modern era, we take the luxury of a climate-controlled home for granted. With a simple adjustment on the thermostat, we can heat our home in a blink of an eye. But have you ever wondered how our resourceful ancestors managed to In this blog, we'll take you on a journey through time to explore the unique ways our ancestors battled the cold without the help of modern heating technologies.

5 Ways Our Ancestors Kept Warm During Winter 

1. The art of layering

Our ancestors were the true fashionistas of survival, mastering the art of layering long before it became a winter trend. They adorned themselves in multiple layers of clothing, using materials like fur, wool, and plant fibers to trap body heat. Animal skins and woven fabrics were not just fashion statements but essential tools in the battle against the biting cold.

2. Stone-age radiators

Believe it or not, our ancient relatives had their version of radiant heating systems. In certain cultures, heated stones played a pivotal role in creating warmth. Stones were heated in the fire and then strategically placed within living spaces to radiate heat throughout the night. This primitive form of underfloor heating may not have been as sophisticated as today's systems, but it got the job done.

3. Underground insulation

Long before the creation of fiberglass and foam insulation, our ancestors turned to the earth itself for warmth. Many ancient homes were constructed partially underground, taking advantage of the insulating properties of soil. Earth-sheltered dwellings maintained a more stable temperature, protecting inhabitants from both the scorching heat of summer and the bone-chilling cold of winter.

4. Bed warmers, medieval style

To combat the chill under the covers, our ghows-MO-085064d5-c77c-4751-9f37-6d0ece28be9a-6cb08b2fmedieval ancestors had their version of bed warmers. Instead of electric blankets, they used metal pans filled with hot coals or stones. These bed warmers, often made of brass or copper, were tucked beneath the bed linens, providing a toasty cocoon for a comfortable night's sleep.

5. Fireplaces

The hearth was the heart of many ancient homes, serving as both a cooking center and a heating source. Some innovative designs even included channels in the walls that allowed the smoke to circulate through the living spaces before exiting the home. This early form of central heating may not have been as efficient as our current HVAC systems, but it was a revolutionary step towards more comfortable living conditions.


As we snug up in our climate-controlled homes, it's fascinating to reflect on the inventive ways our ancestors navigated the challenges of staying warm without the luxury of HVAC systems. From layered clothing to heated stones and bed warmers, their solutions were both practical and resourceful. But at ECI, we're glad to provide modern heating technology so that you can have a cozy home to bundle up in during the winter! 
Contact ECI Comfort

If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200 to learn more.

This entry was posted in Heating, Throwback Thursday

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