When the hydrocarbons are diminishing from the earth and the energy prices are soaring, the Geothermal system has come up as an efficient solution for saving energy. As heating and cooling solution comprise around half of the energy bills, hence, it is highly popularizing in many parts of the world. The government also supports this technology by offering subsidies in some countries. But have you ever wondered who invented this technology of mining out energy from inside Earth and utilizing it for heating and cooling solutions? When was it first introduced? In this article, we will be resolving all your queries regarding the History of Geothermal Heating and Cooling solutions.

The Early Usage of Geothermal System

Historians have found that since Paleolithic times, humans have used hot springs for bathing and other purposes. It is a form of utilizing the Geothermal system. The stone pool of 3rd century BC is the oldest known hot spring spa built by Qin dynasty, China. At the beginning of AD, the water from hot springs was distributed to local houses and baths in Pompeii. Perhaps, Romans were the first to use Geothermal energy that emerged as hot springs for heating rooms and in public baths. They were also the first to commercialize Geothermal. After conquering Aquae Sulis (located in the modern UK), they channeled the hot water to public baths. These public baths were not free. They charge some amount as an entry fee for it. In Iceland, more than one-thousand-year-old hot tub built by original natives got discovered recently. The earliest geothermal heating system is present in Chaudes-Aigues.

The Evolution of Modern Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

The first heat pump got invented in the year 1852 by Lord Kelvin. However, it was Heinrich Zoelly in the year 1912 who made its use for drawing heat from inside of Earth.

Inventors of Modern Geothermal system

Perhaps, it was Robert C. Webber in 1940s to first used his home-made 2.2 kW Geothermal pump as a direct-exchange system. However, many sources deny this claim. The first commercial geothermal heating system got designed by J. Donald Kroeker in the year 1946. It heated the Commonwealth building located in Portland, Oregon. Later in 1948, Professor Carl Nielsen of Ohio State University invented the first residential open loop version of the Geothermal system. He invented it in his home. Due to 1973 oil crisis, this technology took the popularity in Sweden by storm. Afterward, it got global acceptance.

Present Scenario

Nowadays, there are millions of homes, factories, and offices equipped with Geothermal system worldwide. According to a report, in the USA, there are around eighty thousand units installed every year, while in Sweden, it is twenty-seven thousand.


The geothermal system is not new to human. Undoubtedly, it is a better alternative. In fact, it is an irony that the invention of modern Geothermal pump came out to be so late. This solution of heating and cooling definitely will be acting as a game changer in the near future. At least, the massive shift of population towards it indicates so.