The White House Wasn’t Always A ‘Cool’ Place

Presidents’ Day is a good time to think about the history of the White House. Do you realize if you’re a baby boomer there’s a good chance the home of the leader of the free world did NOT have central air conditioning when you were born? It wasn’t installed until a major renovation in 1952 during the Truman administration.
We bring that up as one example of the HVAC revolution we’ve seen in just a handful of generations. Imagine what your life would be like without the comfort your heating and cooling professionals at Sanborn’s Air Conditioning and Heating can offer you.
In the early days, presidents tried everything they could think of to deal with the stifling summer heat in Washington, D.C. During the day, President Woodrow Wilson often worked out of an open-air tent set up in the Rose Garden. The 27th president, William Howard Taft, had a screened-in porch 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 today’s society?
Heating did appear in the White House much earlier, but it was a long process that 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 for expansion to the remaining house.
Can you imagine that when the country’s 2nd president, John Adams and his wife Abigail, moved into the new White House in 1800 they were shocked to find there was no indoor plumbing. On the plus side, outhouses meant there was no need for a White House plumber to unclog a toilet. It wasn’t until 1833 that running water was introduced, mostly for drinking water and to fill reservoirs for fire protection.
Of course now things are much different. The modern 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 the First Family can call on a staff of skilled workers, as is befitting an American president. We at Sanborn’s Air Conditioning and Heating want you to know the needs of our customers in San Bernardino County are just as important to us as the needs of the first family are to the professionals who serve them.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about the history of cooling, heating, and plumbing in the White House for this Presidents’ Day. We can help with all of your home comfort needs, including annual maintenance and emergency repairs. Contact us today to get started!