What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner? 

Jul 19, 2022 | Air Conditioner, A/C, Bexley, Blog, Cooling, OH, Ohio

Without the usefulness of a functional HVAC system, it would be difficult to complete many tasks every day, like working in a cool office all day, enjoying the cool side of your pillow, or hosting a gathering during the hottest month of the summer. It’s easy to take for granted that our houses have cool air. Of course, until the air goes out, things are just fine, and then things get uncomfortable fast! If that’s the case, then you should contact Bexley Heating & Cooling to have someone out to your home as quickly as possible! But in all seriousness, we can attribute our present conveniences of the A/C unit to a lot of great inventors throughout history who put in the work. So come along with us as we travel through several milestones in the history of air conditioning. 

What Are the Origins of the Modern A/C? 

The origins of the first cool air concept can be found in the history of ancient Egypt. The Egyptians would hang wet clothing outside their front doors. As the wind passed by, it cooled the moist clothes and directed cooler air into the home. China also contributed to A/C history in 180 AD, when Ding Huan created a hand-cranked rotary fan. Furthermore, the ancient Romans did not lag behind in this regard. In addition, the Romans built a sophisticated water and air supply system (the aqueduct system) that included a series of underground tunnels to transport water and air to the homes of the rich. Each of these contributions, while minor, is an important step in the development of modern A/C technology. 

What A/C Progression Was Made In the 1700s? 

Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley performed the first documented experiment for air conditioning theory in 1758. They used the technique of evaporation to rapidly chill an object. By the conclusion of the research, Franklin and Hadley had been successful in lowering the thermometer’s temperature to 7 degrees Fahrenheit while the object’s outside temperature was still kept at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. “From this experiment one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer’s day,” Benjamin Franklin enthusiastically claimed in a letter following the trial experiment. 

What A/C Progression Was Made In the 1800s? 

In 1820, Michael Faraday carried out a similar test with ammonia. This was the first form of volatile liquid used in a modern A/C unit. Then, in 1830, Dr. John Gorrie of Florida utilized a little steam and ice machine to help his patients suffering from tropical diseases. Dr. Gorrie’s cooling machine was patented in 1851 and employed in hospital rooms to treat yellow fever and other ailments. 

What A/C Progression Was Made In the 1900s? 

In 1902, Willis Carrier built the first air conditioning unit that roughly resembles present-day models. This was necessitated by the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co., which needed a way to cool paper while printing. It employed cold coils to keep the surface cool. The machine dehumidified and cooled the air, keeping papers smooth and inks bright. This equipment had the ability to reduce humidity levels by up to 55%. Later on, in 1915, Willis Carrier collaborated with the Buffalo Forge Company, which resulted in the creation of the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America. Today, this company is best recognized as Carrier. 

Air conditioning was only slowly accepted, and it was initially utilized by manufacturers and industries to protect their goods. The White House, as well as other major executive buildings, began utilizing air conditioning in 1930. People started recognizing that air conditioning could provide pleasant indoor temperatures when central air became necessary in movie theaters. At the time, Nickelodeons was a theater that provided low-cost entertainment to the public. To keep upper and middle-class patrons comfortable while watching the film, cooling systems were installed in the theaters. This paved the way for the use of home A/C units. Air conditioners started to be installed in American homes in the 1950s. At this time, there were about 74,000 of them put into operation. 

According to the most recent results from the 2020 Energy Consumption survey, air conditioners are now utilized by 88% of American households. Today, we may enjoy cold air in our homes in 2022 as a result of those who came before us. Each breakthrough and HVAC milestone was a stepping stone that led to our current top-notch high-efficiency A/C systems. If you have any problems with your heating or cooling system, Bexley Heating & Cooling is available to help you right now. Call today at (614) 924-7856, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here