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White House: A Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing History Lesson

White House History - Climate Control Company

On President’s Day we think about the President and First Family living a life of luxury in the White House. But that wasn’t always the case. Do you realize if you’re a baby boomer there’s a good chance the White House did NOT have central air conditioning when you were born? It was installed in 1952 during a major renovation in the Truman administration.

That little tidbit is just one example of the HVAC revolution we’ve seen in just a few short decades. Imagine what your life would be like without the comfort your heating and cooling professionals at Climate Control Company have been providing to residents of Western Colorado since 1956.

Before the days of central air, presidents tried everything they could think of to deal with the stifling summer heat in Washington, D.C. President Woodrow Wilson often worked outside in an open-air tent set up in the Rose Garden. The 27th president, William Howard Taft ordered a screened-in porch to be built on the roof of the White House so he could sleep outdoors. Can you imagine the Secret Service dealing with THAT security risk in this day and age?

Central heat came to the White House earlier, but it was a long process. It didn’t start until 1840, nearly 50 years after construction began. At first, it only heated rooms on the first floor and took several years to be expanded to the entire house.

For a long time there also wasn’t much need to call a plumber to the White House. When the country’s 2nd president, John Adams and his wife Abigail, moved into the new building in 1800 they were dismayed to find there was no indoor plumbing. On the plus side, outhouses meant there was no such thing as a clogged toilet. True running water arrived in 1833, but was mostly for drinking water and to fill reservoirs for fire protection.

Today those are just distant memories. The White House has 35 bathrooms among its 132 centrally heated and cooled rooms. If there is a plumbing or heating problem in the White House there is a staff of skilled workers to call on, as is befitting the leader of the free world.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the history of cooling, heating, and plumbing in the White House for this Presidents’ Day. We at Climate Control Company want you to know your HVAC and plumbing needs are just as important to us, as the needs of the White House and First Family are to the professionals who serve them.

We can help with all your home comfort needs, including yearly maintenance and emergency repairs. Contact us today to get started!