What Is The History Of The Modern Air Conditioner?

Jul 20, 2022 | A/C, Air Conditioner, Blog, History, HVAC, OH, Ohio, Springfield

Whether winding down for the night, working hard at your 9-5 job, or tending to your household, none of which are easily gratified during the hot summer months without the comfort of a functioning A/C. In fact, most of us enjoy the cool air in our households without thinking twice about it. That’s why you should count on Springfield Heating & Cooling with your air conditioning demands to assure you won’t have to struggle to stay cool in everyday life. It’s necessary to speak of the many extraordinary innovations in the history of the modern-day A/C that allow us to seek refuge in our cool home environments. So tag along as we journey through time and look at some of these prominent markings in the history of the modern A/C. 

Where Does the History Of the Modern Day A/C Begin? 

Beginnings of the A/C trace back to Ancient Egypt. To cool down their houses as best as possible, the Egyptians would hang their wet laundry in their entryways. This method generated an evaporation cooling effect when the wind blew past the damp laundry, cooling the air. In 180 AD, Ancient China also contributed to the history of the modern AC when Ding Huan cultivated a hand-cranked rotary fan. Furthermore, Ancient Rome was right there as well in these progressive endeavors. The Romans formulated an intricate aqueduct system comprised of a series of underground tunnels which carried water and cool air to the houses of the wealthy. Each of these contributions, though more simplistic than today’s developments, are essential markings in the history of modern-day air conditioning. 

Where Was A/C Development In the 1700s? 

In 1758, Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley conducted the first reported test for air conditioning theory. They pertained to the principle of evaporation to cool down an object promptly. After finishing the study, the two could lower a thermometer’s temperature to 7 degrees Fahrenheit with the external temperature at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. After this endeavor, Benjamin Franklin proudly proclaimed in a letter, “From this experiment, one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer’s day.” 

Where Was A/C Development In the 1800s? 

Using ammonia, Michael Faraday conducted a similar experiment in 1820, making this compound the initial volatile liquid element used in a modern A/C unit. Unfortunately, ammonia is corrosive and, in high concentrations, poisonous. In 1830, a physician in Florida, Dr. John Gorrie, used a little steam and ice machine to lower his patient’s discomforts from tropical illnesses. Dr. Gorrie patented his cooling machine in 1851, which was used in hospital rooms to boost the betterment of those suffering from yellow fever and other diseases. 

Where Was A/C Development In the 1900s? 

Proceeding to 1902, we find Willis Carrier formulated the first air conditioning unit comparable to today’s current models. This result is thanks to the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co., who were searching for a means of cooling paper during printing procedures. The invention operated cold coils to provide this cooling effect. As a result, the machine dehumidified and cooled the air, ensuring the paper kept smooth and its ink vibrant. This device could decrease humidity levels by about 55%. And by 1914, a mansion in Minneapolis was the first home to have an A/C made by Carrier. A year later, Willis Carrier allied with the Buffalo Forge Company, which led to the establishment of the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America, famously recognized today as the brand Carrier. 

The concept of air conditioning was gradually accepted and used by manufacturers and factories to preserve their products. However, in 1930, the White House and other large executive buildings fully embraced the air conditioning system. It wasn’t until the need for A/C in movie theaters that people began appreciating air conditioning as a profitable means for society to live in daily comfort. At that time, Nickolodeans, a 5-cent theater, offered cheap entertainment to the public. To keep the upper and middle class comfortable while they watched the film, Carrier installed systems in these theaters, burning the way for the A/C system to be used residentially. In the 1950s, the installation of air conditioners took hold within many suburban homes, with reports demonstrating that there were about 74,000 A/C units installed in households across America. 

A 2020 Energy Consumption survey found that 88% of American homes utilize air conditioning in their homes. In 2022, we continue to enjoy the comforts of cool air in our households, thanks to the forerunners who came before us. Each discovery within these HVAC milestones was mere stepping stones to the top-notch, high-efficiency residential systems we wield today. And, if any problems arise with your HVAC system, Springfield Heating & Cooling is prepared to assist you at a moment’s notice. Call today at (937) 350-1881, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here

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