My home has a heat pump and forced hot air as its heating source. The vents for the heat are in the floor. Everyone knows where to stand when they need to have their toes warmed quickly. This brings to mind the older homes that I lived in the past.
I’ve never lived in a new home. This home is probably the youngest having been built in 1925 but I have added ne modern additions since, so it is kind of new. However most of the houses I’ve lived in previously were originally built with coal furnaces. There was a coal bin in every basement, which was a room with outside access like a window. The coal delivery truck would come and chute your bin full and a couple times a day you would have to shovel coal into the furnace, bank the flame by dampering it down. Every so often you’d have to haul your ashes and clinkers.
I don’t recall the last time I saw someone getting a coal delivery, probably not since the late 50. Most of those coal stoves had been replaced or converted to gas or oil furnaces, as was the last house I lived in. There was a large three- foot square heating grate in the floor. On cold mornings one would stand there before venturing to any other room in the house. If your home was a two story house there would be a grate on a ceiling somewhere above the larger floor grate. This was the heat source for the next floor.
One house I owned had an upstairs kitchen and the heat source was a cooking wood stove that was converted to gas. The fire box on the side was sufficient to heat the entire place.
I have to say that the designers of these conversion kits were pretty bright. These heaters were able to keep going for many years. They were pretty efficient as well. Everyone thinks that when they upgrade to the new and modern heating system that they will be saving a lot of money. Each time I went to a modern furnace to replace a refitted model my consumption usually went up by at least 30%.
I have to admit that I sometimes miss the romantic notion of standing on the heating grate in the morning, just as a lizard will sit on a rock until the sun warms its core temperature before it goes along with its day.