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Trailblazing Women in Heating and Cooling

In the traditionally male-dominated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry, pioneering women have chosen to go against the tide and create meaningful careers in the trades. Many have made names for themselves in the field of heating and cooling. But while some of these women have made substantial advancements in the field, there is still a long way to go before women can be substantially represented in the HVAC industry.

Women in the HVAC Industry Today

Organizations like Women in HVACR have been created to provide support and resources for women interested in HVACR careers. This is helping to create a more diverse and welcoming atmosphere in the industry while encouraging more women to pursue roles in HVAC.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprised 47% of the U.S. workforce in 2017. However, less than 2% of the installers and technicians employed in the HVAC industry were women. Despite being a small percentage of the industry, women have significantly impacted heating and air conditioning.

Alice H. Parker and Heating

aliceRecognizing that her fireplace alone couldn’t effectively heat her whole home during the brutal New Jersey winters, Alice H. Parker replaced wood and coal fuel with natural gas and designed the first gas furnace with air ducts that allowed heat to be evenly distributed throughout the home.

The original designs from her patent were never implemented, but they paved the way for modern heating systems that are staples of homes and commercial spaces today. She made significant HVAC technology developments when most used wood or coal to heat their homes.  

Margaret Ingels and Air Conditioning

margaretMargaret Ingels was the first woman to graduate from the University of Kentucky with an engineering degree in 1916 and became only the second woman to do so in the entire United States. She was also the first woman to have received a professional degree in Mechanical Engineering, a feat that opened the door for her to begin a long career as an air conditioning expert with the Carrier-Lyle Corporation and a lab researcher at the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers.

Some of her most notable works include the development of the “effective temperature” scale, a system of measurement that incorporated humidity and air movement in determining a person’s comfort level. She also helped perfect the sling psychrometer, a device used to read the relative humidity in the air. 

About Laney’s Inc.

Laney’s Inc. is a locally-owned plumbing and HVAC company serving Fargo, ND, and the surrounding communities for over 60 years. They provide competitive pricing, honest advice, and financing. Call them today for indoor air quality, AC, or heating services in Fargo, ND.

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