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All About Air Conditioner History

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AC History 101

People don’t often think too much about air conditioner history. Their air conditioner is just the system in the home that keeps their home cool in the summer. However, the history of how these systems ended up in the home and how they came to be is important to be able to appreciate how amazing they truly are. 

Who Invented The Air Conditioner?

AC Inventor - Willis Carrier

The first important step in air conditioner history is the inventor, Willis Carrier. Carrier was born in Angola, New York in 1876. After earning his mechanical engineering master’s degree at Cornell University in 1901, he started work at the heating company, Buffalo Forge Company. One year later, he went on to design the world’s very first modern air conditioner.

Carrier founded the Carrier Corporation in 1915, which is still churning out air conditioning systems and equipment today. 

Carrier died in 1950.

In 1985, 35 years after his death, he further made air conditioner history by being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Carrier also ended up on the Time Magazine List of 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century, which was well deserved. 

When Was The Air Conditioner Invented?

In the early 1900s, there were no buildings that had any sort of machine-based cooling system. This not only includes homes and businesses, but also factories, banks, and municipal buildings. Everywhere people went in the summer, it was hot. But that was just how society was at the time, and most people considered it just an uncomfortable part of life.

Prior to that, the only way to get the home cooler was to use fans to blow air over ice blocks.  

To put things into perspective, this was a time where the very first movie theaters had just opened, the automobile was still in its infancy, and the average life span was only in the mid-40s. Most homes didn’t even have a bathtub or a telephone, so the fact that Carrier was able to regulate home temperature and humidity and make air conditioner history is pretty astounding. 

How Has The Air Conditioner Developed?

Air conditioner history started with that initial system in 1902, but it didn’t stop there. The first system worked to control temperature and humidity, but it was still essentially a first draft. With that first system, the air was passed through a filter. After it moved through the filter, it continued over coils that contained a coolant. This created a cool fog, known at the time as coolth. 

From there, Carrier went on to come up with the “Rational Psychrometric Formulae” in 1911,  which further pushed the scientific design of the air conditioner forward. Psychrometrics still refers to the science of being able to determine what the ideal ratio is between temperature and humidity, and is where modern HVAC science sprung from. 

In 1933, Carrier’s company developed an even more high tech air conditioning system that used a belt on the condensing unit and added mechanical controls and an evaporator coil. This is still essentially the same mechanics seen today. 

About 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling

Air Conditioner Repair and Replacement Company

With “less hassle, more comfort,” 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling, in Reno, Nevada, opened in 2008. All of the trustworthy technicians employed by 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling are licensed, insured, and have had their background checked. The family-owned and operated business offers full HVAC services to suit all your cooling needs.

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