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Women Who Have Shaped the HVAC Industry

Women Who Contribute to the Heating and Cooling Industry 

Walk into any home or business today, and there is almost a guarantee that there will be conditioned air waiting to greet newcomers. Nowadays, it is rare that any building doesn't have some form of climate control to get people out of the elements and keep them comfortable. However, the machinery that makes this possible is relatively new to construction. 

For thousands of years, people were exposed to the swings in temperature brought on by the seasons. Along the way, a handful of people decided that nature was terrible and didn't want any part of it, so they set about making comfortable homes. Some of these pioneers were women, and those heroines are celebrated during Women's History Month. Here are some quick facts about women in the HVAC industry to honor their contributions to home comfort. 

Women in Today's Industry 

The HVAC industry today is one of the most male-dominated professions. Estimates say that the entire industry comprises less than 5% females, and many of these are in office support roles or positions of ownership. Very few women are out in the field performing installation and maintenance. 

Why is this the case? HVAC work is seen as physically demanding. It involves spending time on ladders and working with the hands. Unfortunately, this perception keeps many women from expressing interest in the field. While the work can be physically demanding, better materials and installation practices have reduced the amount of stress on the body. Additionally, HVAC contractors are paid during training, and future job prospects are high. Women should pursue a career in this exciting field for excellent pay and job security.

The Natural Gas Furnace and Alice H. Parker 


While women are generally absent from the industry today, some of the biggest achievements in HVAC have been attributed to women. Take Alice H. Parker as an example. Parker graduated from Howard University and lived in New Jersey in the early 1900s. As an engineer, she designed natural gas furnaces and obtained a patent before most people recognized the potential of using natural gas for heat. Her patent uses concepts still in place today, like zone control and ductwork, to distribute heat. 

Pioneer Margaret Ingels 


Like Alice H. Parker, Margaret Ingels was a pioneer in the field. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, she became the first woman to have a Master's in Engineering. Almost immediately after graduating, she began work with the Carrier Corporation, the leader in "conditioned air." 

Throughout her career, she designed special measurement devices to accurately measure the air's humidity and improved designs for air sanitization. As an early woman pioneer, she gave over 200 speeches encouraging women to make careers in engineering. Her message and work continue to inspire women today. 

About Air Comfort Service, Inc.

Air Comfort Service, Inc. carries on the legacy of women in the HVAC industry with skilled service. Their expert technicians always offer the latest technology for heating and cooling solutions. Call today for residential or commercial HVAC service in St. Louis, MO. 

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