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What Is The History Of The Modern Air Conditioner?

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

How Did We Get the Modern AC Technology We Have Today? 

Summer is here in Ohio, which means high temperatures and extreme humidity for residents living in the state. Each year when the spring and summer roll back around, families across the United States rely on their residential AC units to keep them cool and comfortable all season long. However, we weren’t always as fortunate as we are now. In this article, our HVAC specialists at Westerville Air Conditioning & Heating share how folks stayed cool summers long ago and how we came to the modern air conditioning technology we have today!  

How Did People Achieve Home Comfort Without an AC System? 

Although they had nothing compared to what we have regarding home comfort, our ancestors knew a few tips and tricks to stay cool when it was too hot to bear outdoors. Before the luxury of air-conditioned homes, ancient Egyptians were amongst the first to grasp the idea of evaporation for cooling intentions by draping wet, ice-cold cloths across entries around the house, causing a cooler effect when breezes came through. Among others that knew some tips to keep cool were the ancient Romans, who invented Aqueducts. Aqueducts were used to pump water through various parts of ancient Roman cities and were used by the wealthy to keep water moving throughout the home, ultimately cooling the homes. 

Centuries would pass before methods of staying cool would evolve. This began with John Hadley, a professor at Cambridge University, and Benjamin Franklin in 1758 when they exhibited the effects of evaporative cooling, which presented that by evaporating inconstant liquid, like alcohol, on the water’s surface, objects could cool in temperature and even become frozen. Later, this research would bring us English inventor Michael Faraday, who experimented with similar ideas to what Hadley and Franklin presented. However, Faraday would use ammonia for this experiment, and it ended up being the volatile liquid for the first modern air conditioner. This experiment helped American Physician Dr. John Gorrie create the first mechanical cooling apparatus in the 1830s that he finally perfected in 1851. 

When Was the AC Officially Created? 

The 1900s finally came, and so did the modern AC in residential homes. Starting in 1915, Willis Carrier produced the first home AC and established his business in the home comfort industry by creating Carrie Air Conditioning Company of America. These household air conditioners utilized the mechanical refrigeration approach, sending air through coils filled with cold water, allowing moisture to be removed from the air and homes to cool much faster.  

What Does the Future Have In Store Next For AC Technologies?  

The evolution of air conditioners carried on for many years and continues to make progress to this day. By 1953, demand for air conditioners was so high that there was not enough to produce for everyone that wanted the equipment. However, since the 1950s, we’ve made some remarkable improvements to the air conditioner, such as providing temperature control, less noise, energy efficiency, and much more! Because of these upgrades, roughly 75 percent of the country own home HVAC systems.  

We’ve made some serious progress since the early days of keeping cool. Thanks to our ancestors, we can now stay comfortable in our homes all year long! If your HVAC system could use an upgrade, we got you covered here at Westerville Air Conditioning & Heating. Call us today at (614) 810-0075, or schedule an appointment online by clicking here

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