What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner?

Jul 20, 2022 | A/C, Air Conditioner, Blog, History, HVAC, Kettering, Kettering-Oakwood, Oakwood, OH, Ohio

Without the endurance of a functioning HVAC system, our days would be intolerable with the discomfort of Ohio’s summer heat and humidity as we attempt to check off our daily responsibilities. So, no matter if you prefer working in a cool office, relaxing your head upon the cool side of your pillow, or hosting a gathering of those you love during the hot summer days, let’s take time to recognize the cool air that air conditioning blesses upon us. Because if that air goes out, that comfort can quickly disappear! So, if you end up in this situation, count on Kettering-Oakwood Heating & Air. We can and will happily have somebody out to your place as soon as possible! Air conditioning is a luxury that we can credit to some basic designs throughout history that came before. Hop aboard as we sail back to the past and recall the past of the modern air conditioner. 

Where Do We Begin the History Of the A/C? 

Basic notions of cooling our indoor environment began in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians would attach their wet garments from the entrances of their homes, so when the wind blew, the damp clothes administered cooler air. China also partook in A/C history when Ding Huan developed a hand-cranked rotary fan in 180 AD. And the Romans devised an intricate water/air supply network, the aqueduct system, that included the placement of passages below ground to transfer water and cool air into the homes of the rich. These tributes, which now pale in comparison to modern-day developments, are fundamental to the development of our current A/C technology. 

How Did A/C In the 1700s Look? 

Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley executed the first documented endeavor of air conditioning theory in 1758, using the evaporation strategy to cool an object with haste. As a result of their research, Franklin and Hadley successfully lowered the thermometer’s temperature to 7 degrees Fahrenheit while the outward temperature registered 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 declared eagerly in his letter following the experimental trial. 

How Did A/C In the 1800s Look? 

In 1820, Michael Faraday fulfilled a comparable test with ammonia, the first kind of volatile liquid utilized in a modern A/C unit. And in 1830, Dr. John Gorrie of Florida operated a small steam and ice machine to relieve the symptoms of his patients suffering from tropical illnesses. Dr. Gorrie’s cooling machine was patented in 1851 and appointed to hospital rooms to support the treatment of yellow fever and other diseases. 

How Did A/C In the 1900s Look? 

In 1902, Willis Carrier formulated the initial air conditioning unit corresponding to present-day models when the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Co. sought to uncover a way to cool paper during their printing processes. It employed cold coils to keep the surface cool. The machine simultaneously dehumidified and cooled the air, strengthening the paper’s smooth texture and inks vibrancy. This device could reduce humidity levels by up to 55%. And in 1915, Willis Carrier labored alongside the Buffalo Forge Company, securing the production of the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America. Today, this company is more popularly known as Carrier. 

Slowly but surely, air conditioning was accepted and used by manufacturers and industries to preserve their products. The White House, as well as other significant executive buildings, began employing air conditioning in 1930. People started to understand the importance of air conditioning for more desirable indoor conditions when central air became necessary in movie theaters. Nickelodeons had a theater that gave low-cost entertainment to the public. As a way of enabling upper and middle-class customers to be satisfied while attending the film, cooling systems were installed in the theaters, leading the way for household A/C units. Air conditioners began installation in American homes in the 1950s, with about 74,000 recorded installments. 

In examining the findings from the 2020 Energy Consumption survey, we see air conditioners operated by 88% of American households. Accordingly, today we may appreciate our cooler home settings thanks to the trailblazers of our past. Each breakthrough and HVAC milestone was a stride closer to our present top-notch high-efficiency A/C systems. And, if you have any dilemmas with your heating or cooling system, don’t forget you can always count on Kettering-Oakwood Heating & Air to help you keep cool this summer. Call today at (937) 502-3842, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here