What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner?

What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner?

Jul 19, 2022 | A/C, Air Conditioner, Blog, Cooling, Finneytown, History, HVAC, OH, Ohio

It’s the hottest month of the season, and temperatures have truly climbed! What would life be like without a working air conditioner? Daily activities such as housework, reading, or even just resting would all be very unpleasant in an excessively hot environment. So, have you ever pondered how the idea of air conditioning originated? Who was it that decided one day that a machine had to be built to generate chilly air? The A/C system was actually a concept constructed over time by several contributors and inventors. Each of their discoveries led to a historical moment that brought us the modern A/C, so join your Finneytown Heating & Cooling service experts as we take a little trip back in time. 

Where Did It All Begin? 

Humans have endured the summer heat since the beginning of time. Over the years, many scientists and inventors have devised different methods to assist people to avoid the summer heat. As a result, we feel that credit should be given where it is due: 

  • Egypt: The ancient Egyptians were ingenious with their ability to recognize the benefits of evaporation. They would innovatively create a cooling effect by draping wet cloths in front of their open doors, so when the wind blew by it formed a chill breeze. This forward way of thinking provided some relief from the heat. 
  • China: China was not to be outdone in the race for cool air. In 180 AD, Ding Huan created a hand-cranked rotary fan. 
  • Rome: The Romans helped to develop cool air by way of the aqueduct system, which ran a series of subterranean passageways that funneled chilly air and water beneath the homes and floors of the wealthy. 
  • 1758:  Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley experimented with evaporative cooling in 1758. It was discovered that by evaporating constant fluids on the surface of water, items could be frozen while maintaining the ambient temperature at the original level. 
  • 1820: This was the year that Michael Faraday worked with ammonia. His research was the first known use of a volatile liquid in medicine. 
  • 1830: Dr. John Gorrie, an American doctor, invented the first cooling machine using ice and steam in 1830. It wasn’t patented until 1851, though. 

Who Is the Founder Of the Air Conditioning Unit? 

Willis Carrier was a skilled engineer who was employed by a New York printing firm to find a way to keep paper and ink from becoming dampened by humidity in their printing room. Carrier set to work, and created mechanical refrigeration. His invention was based on prior work of others who came before him, coupled with his own ideas and innovations. His plan worked!  The machine Carrier created cooled the air as well as removed moisture from it. Carrier’s device was a key milestone in the advancement of A/C technology. In 1933, Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America, now known as the infamous HVAC brand Carrier, was founded. He is appropriately dubbed, “the father of air conditioning.” 

How Far Have Air Conditioning Systems Progressed? 

Since Carrier’s initial design, air conditioners have evolved drastically. However, his invention laid the groundwork for all A/C units that followed it. We can now choose from a plethora of A/C models in 2022. Modern air conditioners are now known as energy-efficient and include vapor compression, diagnostics, electronic sensors, and smart thermostats to optimize energy efficiency. 

In the United States, air conditioning systems are now placed in 88 percent of residences.. Air conditioners were immediately integrated into residential properties. They were originally utilized only in factories and industrial structures. Air conditioning was seen as a luxury rather than a necessary commodity. Times have certainly changed since then. At Finneytown Heating & Cooling, we want to do everything possible for you! Your summer should be enjoyable. If your HVAC system is broken or if your A/C goes out, we’re just a phone call away! Call (513) 935-0440, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!