What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner?

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

Central air conditioning is a significant invention in history! Because of the A/C system, we can do various activities that sometimes we don’t give so much as a second thought to. Daily things wouldn’t quite be the same if air conditioning didn’t exist. Household chores, for example, movie nights with the family or taking a mid-afternoon nap, would all be pretty uncomfortable to endure without the commodity of a cool house in the middle of the unruly summer heat. But, of course, A/C systems have not always been around. Did you know that air conditioners were originally intended for factories and companies to protect their inventory? In addition, the A/C was not immediately available to residential homeowners. In fact, since the first design was created, A/C units have progressed a lot. So just how did it all start? Who made the air conditioner? Well, good news – that’s what we are here to talk about today! Join your Five Star Heating & Cooling Group family as we walk through these “cool” milestones in the history of the modern A/C. 

How Did the A/C System Make Advancements In the 1800s? 

In the mid-1800s, a physician named Dr. John Gorrie experimented with the idea of artificial cooling. He intended to provide relief to his patients dealing with tropical illnesses such as yellow fever. This resulted in his development of a small machine that utilized a compressor to make ice and was fueled using steam. Although his invention was successful, it was not patented until 1851. And unfortunately, his invention was not made available to the masses due to funding issues. However, his design laid the foundation for future air conditioning and refrigeration advancement. 

How Did the A/C System Make Advancements In the 1900s? 

The idea behind artificial cooling was left tabled for a good time after that until a skilled engineer named Willis Carrier accepted a position requiring the need for cooling equipment that could also control humidity. Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company was a printing company in Brooklyn, New York, that needed Willis to develop a method to control the humidity levels in their printing rooms. They were experiencing issues with the paper and ink warping under high humidity. Willis got to work, and the first modern electrical air conditioning system was born in 1902 as a result. His first design was a success! Later, he collaborated with the Buffalo Forge Company until he broke away to establish his own business. Carrier Engineering Corporation was founded, and fast forward to today, Willis Carrier’s brand is widely known in the HVAC industry as Carrier. Appropriately enough, Willis Carrier has been dubbed the “father of air conditioning.” 

Originally, air conditioning systems were only used in factories and other companies to protect their inventory. Additionally, large buildings like the White House and other administrative-like buildings had them installed as well. However, it should be noted that when the 5-cent theater known as Nicklodeans started offering affordable entertainment to the middle and upper class, they quickly found it necessary to keep their customers cool and comfortable. So A/C systems were installed in their theaters. But when customers began realizing that cool air could be a commodity in their homes, the market for residential air conditioning opened. As a result, by the time the 1960s rolled around, most new residences had A/C systems installed. 

How Did the A/C System Make Advancements In the 2000s? 

It’s now 2022; air conditioning systems are recorded to be in almost 100 million homes across the United States. It’s crazy to think that central air wasn’t always thought of as a basic necessity. It started as an industrial need, then became a luxury for those who could afford to add one to their homes. A/C’s are now considered a necessity nationwide. Modern A/C units now enable us to enjoy consistent cool air, controlled humidity levels, less energy consumption, and higher air quality. In addition, let’s not forget the fact that there are various models available based on every homeowner’s needs and budget. 

The progression of the air conditioner continues to grow. As modern technology advances, so will the A/C system. Therefore, the search for more energy-efficient units and sustainable equipment will carry on. It will be intriguing to see how much air conditioning has advanced in the next decade. Without a doubt, progression and discoveries will happen, but one thing is sure – your Five Star Heating & Cooling Group service professionals are just a phone call away! We are here to provide you with five-star service and resolve any HVAC issues you have. You can reach us at (614) 490-7550 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here

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