The Evolution of Air Conditioning  

hand fanReminiscing about simpler times? We’ve all been there, but let’s not forget how nice it is to live among certain innovations, like air-conditioning! July marks the invention of AC and the perfect time to explore the evolution of this sophisticated system.

Back in the day, homes were hot, and your options were limited. Imagine a 90-degree day in July sans AC; all you had were your hands to fan your face and the lake out back to cool off. Luckily, we’ve come a long way. Let’s take a look at a few important milestones before and after the invention of air conditioning that have helped curate our comfortably cooled lifestyles today:

We’ve Come a Long Way

In the ancient world, people got creative. Egyptians would soak reeds and hang them within their windows in order to filter cool air. Persians constructed large fans and Romans built intricate water systems that would allow water to circulate through the walls in order to cool their homes. It wasn’t until the 1840’s, when advancements were made to challenge the rising temperatures in commercial buildings.

Florida native, physician and inventor Dr. John Gorrie, believed cooling was crucial for avoiding diseases, such as malaria, and creating comfortable spaces for his patients. Gorrie began experimenting with the idea of artificial cooling by designing a system that created ice. Although his invention never took off, his idea laid the ground work for engineer, Willis Carrier.

July 17th 1902: The Invention of AC

In 1902, Buffalo Forge Company engineer, Willis Carrier, was tasked with solving a humidity issue. A company in Brooklyn, Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing, was dealing with wrinkled magazine pages in their printing room. This prompted the Carriers’ “Apparatus for Treating Air” to come to fruition! By cooling coils, Carrier invented a way to control humidity and a solution that would benefit several other industries.

Continued Advancements

smart ACIt wasn’t until the 1920’s, when comfort cooling broke through by the implementation of a rather large refrigeration system into a movie theater in Los Angeles. Despite the advancements within the cooling industry, residential cooling was still hard to come by; it wasn’t until 1931 that the first room AC unit was invented- and it was expensive! (More than $400 dollars!) Due to the expense, it took roughly 40 years for this technology to make it into most American homes.

Luckily today, more than 80% of American homes contain air conditioning systems, with advancements in reliability and affordability. Efficiency has improved tremendously with exciting research suggesting better, energy saving AC technology in our future!

So next time you turn up the AC in your car or adjust the temperature of your home via your smart phone—remember just how simple life can be now that we have smarter cooling solutions! Want to learn more about today’s top of the line AC units? Take a look at some of the products we offer.

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