Meet the Women Who Have Helped Shape the HVAC Industry!

Female Pioneers Who Have Changed the World of Heating and Cooling

With Women's History Month in full swing, there's no better time to learn about the influential women who have impacted history in all areas of life. And there's one area that most people probably don't expect to find many female trailblazers - the HVAC-R industry. 

HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) has always been a male-dominated field. Still, without the innovations of brilliant women throughout history, the industry wouldn't be what it is today. This article will outline the accomplishments of two key figures in HVAC-R history and how they serve as an example to young women today.

Women In the Industry Today

Women still comprise only a small fraction of the HVAC industry - around 9% - but even that figure is significantly higher than several years ago. Part of this is because tens of thousands of jobs need to be filled, and HVAC companies are actively encouraging and recruiting women to fill them - after all, it can be a rewarding career for men and women alike.

Another reason for the uptick is that organizations and labor unions (such as Women In HVACR) offer mentorship programs and scholarships for young women looking to enter the trade. Many women who started as technicians are now salespeople, managers, and CEOs. 

How Alice H. Parker Revolutionized Home Heating Systems

aliceOne of the first women to get into the world of heating and cooling was Alice H. Parker - though she did so as an inventor, not a tradeswoman. In 1919, at 26 years old, Parker filed a patent for a gas furnace that would become the precursor to modern central heating systems. At the time, most homes relied on wood- or coal-burning stoves and fireplaces for heat. Parker found this inadequate for keeping her New Jersey home warm in the winter, so she designed something better.

While she was not the first to develop a natural gas furnace, her design was unique in that it involved several independently controlled burners that served ducts to different parts of the house. Today, this is known as zone heating - modern homeowners have Parker to thank for the ability to independently control temperatures in different parts of the house!

The Engineering Legacy of Margaret Ingels

margaretAnother trailblazer in the early 20th century was Margaret Ingels. Born in 1892, Ingels would be the first woman to graduate in engineering from the University of Kentucky and the second woman to get an engineering degree in the United States. Four years later, in 1920, she became the first woman to get a professional Mechanical Engineer degree.

She then went on to make vital contributions to the burgeoning HVAC field, including developing a machine that measured the amount of dust in indoor spaces and a sling psychrometer device, which measures humidity levels in the air. These innovations have had a profound and lasting impact on how the industry manages indoor air quality and comfort. After a long career at the Carrier corporation, Margaret Ingels passed away in 1971 - but her legacy continues to inspire female engineers and professionals to this day.

About Central Heating

Since being founded in 2007, Central Heating has quickly become one of Barrie, ON's most highly-rated HVAC contractors. Their trustworthy, licensed experts are always punctual, clean, and courteous, so homeowners can rest easy knowing they're getting the best possible service. They offer a money-saving membership plan, are available for emergency service 24/7, and back up all work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee - so don't hesitate to call Central Heating for HVAC repair and maintenance in Barrie, ON!

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