March is International Women’s Month, which makes it a great time to celebrate women who’ve made significant strides in the field of heating and cooling. And Heating Specialties even has our own woman making history in HVAC for our South Jersey neighbors. Jordan Bates, daughter of our founder, Jeffrey Thompson, shares her passion for HVAC with our customers every day as operations manager.
Inventor of the natural gas furnace
Until the early 20th century, wood- or coal-burning furnaces were heating homes. The heat would disperse from the unit throughout the house, but it was difficult to heat specific areas, and the furnaces could be dangerous because of their use of fire. This all changed with inventor Alice H. Parker, who created the first natural gas furnace in 1919.
Parker’s furnace burned natural gas, and the heat would flow through the home with a duct system. The duct system gave homeowners more even heating throughout the house and the opportunity to set different temperatures in various rooms. This invention truly helped pave the way for our modern HVAC systems.
Measuring moisture in the air
Our next notable woman in HVAC history is Margaret Ingels, one of our country’s first female engineers. To better measure the amount of moisture in the air, she invented the sling psychrometer while working at the HVAC manufacturer Carrier®.
The sling psychrometer tracks relative humidity and air movement to tell homeowners the “feels like” temperature in their home. Today, the device helps technicians find comfort issues in residential or commercial settings.
Our own notable woman in HVAC
At Heating Specialties, our own Jordan Bates grew up around the HVAC industry. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of our family business ever since I was a little kid,” she says. She spent her early years working to help out wherever she could, hoping that she could join the family legacy one day.
“I was always around all the technicians,” says Jordan. “And as I got a little older, I helped fold mailers, call for surveys over the phone, detailed the vans, and picked up the equipment.” Today, Jordan enjoys working directly with both customers and technicians as Heating Specialties’ operations manager.
Heating Specialties history
Jordan is incredibly proud of her mom and dad’s commitment to building the Heating Specialties business since its original founding in 1987. “It always amazed me how they started it from the ground up, sustained it, grew it, and they were able to support our family,” she says. Even in economic hardships, “they were always able to persevere.”