A Brief History of Air Conditioning

Air ConditioningMost people associate air conditioning with a very modern electrical appliance, but that is not exactly true. Did you know that the first real discovery of the technology behind today’s air conditioners was actually discovered back in 1758, when none other than Benjamin Franklin and Professor John Hadley noted that an object can be chilled enough to freeze water due to the evaporation of certain volatile liquids.

However, it was not until well into the 1830s that the science behind the freezing took a substantial step. It was then that a doctor in Florida, John Gorrie, made what is the equivalent of today’s freezer, an ice machine which used compression to make ice and then have that same chilled air blow over the ice blocks, keeping them cold.

Throughout the nineteenth century the technology continued to make advances and in the very early 1900’s a man named Willis Carrier invents what he calls the Apparatus for Treating Air. Essentially, what this machine did was take that principle of using compressed evaporated liquids and blow the cool air that is produced over coils which will stay cooler far longer controlling not only cooler temperatures, but also regulating humidity.

Black And White AC Video

It was this step that was the major breakthrough, from this point other inventors realized that this air cooling treatment could be used not only in small spaces, but large rooms, and was soon being installed in newspaper printing rooms and on yarn factory floors. Just like with today’s computers, the first air conditioners were absolutely massive and it was not until the 1930’s that the technology made it so that these air conditioners could be sized down to fit in windows for individual rooms in homes or flats.

As you can imagine, these air conditioners were amazingly expensive costing well over a hundred grand in today’s dollars! From there, air conditioning was moved into automobiles and lorries, of course the first systems actually had no way to control the temperature from within the vehicle. From the early 1950’s on in the huge growths after the end of World War II, air conditioners are everywhere, in both homes and cars, and being sold at an amazing rate, especially within all of those new suburban regions that were appearing all over places like the United States.

From there, air conditioners shifted again from being available as central air, moving cool air through a series of ventilation systems in the home. These new cooling devices went hand in hand with the residential central heating furnace of the day. The next real change to air conditioning did not occur until decades later, however, when it was discovered that the chemicals which were being utilized as the refrigerant components (that which cools the air), were doing quite a bit of damage to the environment, particularly the ozone layer. Regulations were passed, and all of the major companies have since developed a new series of coolants which have been much more environmentally friendly.

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