The Origins of Air Conditioning – The History of the Air Conditioner
A lot has changed since the first modern air conditioner was invented in 1902. Not only did the popularization and innovation of treated airachines change the face of America, they’ve also improved all our quality of life.
Who Invented Air Conditioning?
The credit for the 1902 patent for air conditioning was filed by Willis H. Carrier for a device he originally invented to control humidity in an archive. The first rollout of air conditioning consisted of large, expensive units that pulled ambient air through coils to cool and condense it.
But like any major invention, Carrier had many predecessors that contributed to the existing science and framing of the business. In Florida, Dr. John Gorrie made a horse-and-water powered cooling device for his hospital in the 1850s, but failed to popularize it. Even Benjamin Franklin and some of his contemporaries experimented using ether to cool things.
How Air Conditioning Improved Over Time
The cost of AC units steadily decreased over time. During the 1920s, only large businesses and movie theatres and the wealthy could afford air conditioning. But by the 1960s AC went from being considered a luxury to being an expected necessity.
Progressive improvements were made by each new AC model. The industry used the invention of inflammable chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1930s to make air conditioners much safer by using them in the condenser. It would take decades for society to realize that CFCs were destroying our atmosphere’s O-zone, and we are still transitioning into use of safer refrigerants. Our improvement of the efficiency of each unit, like through the development of the centrifugal system, better materials, electronic sensors and controls, did help the environment.
How Did Air Conditioning Change Arizona?
AC revolutionized society in Phoenix and around the state. Before people could treat air, they would have to hose themselves down with water. When going to sleep in hot months, they would lay outside under a wet blanket and hope for a breeze. Many families opted to spend summer in the mountainous regions, if they could afford it.
But the popularization of AC dramatically increased the population of Arizona, much like other states in the modern Sun Belt. Some people also argue that this is why Arizona’s politics shifted into becoming a swing state, since so many of the people wouldn’t have moved in from the North without AC..
The future of air conditioning is looking good. Increased efficiency standards and better software integration promise to make a difference in the lives and wallets of many families.
If you want any help securing comfort for your home, call 623-853-1482 to get in touch with A Quality. We’ve been helping keep residents of Phoenix and Goodyear cool for decades. All without ever having to hose them down!