What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner? 

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

Without regulated cold air, It would be difficult to complete many activities every day, such as working in a cool office all day, resting on the cold side of your pillow, or hosting a gathering during the hottest month of the summer. It’s easy to take air conditioning for granted in our homes. Of course, until the air goes out, everything is just peachy, and then things become unpleasant very quickly! If that’s the case, you should call Bridgetown Heating & Cooling! But in all honesty, jokes aside, we can thank a lot of brilliant creators throughout history for their hard work that enables us to enjoy the comfort of cool air. Join us as we walk through several landmark moments in the history of the modern A/C. 

How Did the Concept Of the Modern A/C Start? 

The history of ancient Egypt may be where the first cool air concept was born. Egyptians hung damp clothing outside their homes in order to allow the wind to touch them, thus lowering the moisture level and allowing cooler air to enter the house. In 180 AD, Ding Huan created a hand-cranked rotary fan in China, which became an important element in A/C development from then on. The ancient Romans were no laggards in the area of cooling air. The Romans built a sophisticated water and air circulation system (the aqueduct system) that included a series of subterranean tunnels to move water and cool air to the homes of the wealthy. Each of these elements, while rudimentary, are important components in the modern A/C conditioner’s development. 

How Did the A/C Progress In the 1700s? 

In 1758, Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley conducted the first documented experiment for air conditioning theory. By the conclusion of their study, Franklin and Hadley had lowered the thermometer’s temperature to 7 degrees Fahrenheit while the ambient temperature was still 64 degrees Fahrenheit. “From this experiment one may see the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer’s day,” Benjamin Franklin stated in a letter after the experiment was concluded. This was a pivotal moment for the development of the A/C. 

How Did the A/C Progress In the 1800s? 

In 1820, Michael Faraday carried out a similar test with ammonia. This was the first volatile liquid used in a modern A/C unit. Then in 1830, Dr. John Gorrie of Florida developed and patented a tiny steam and ice machine to help his patients suffering from tropical illnesses. It was a fantastic invention for its time, but it wasn’t patented until 1851. 

How Did the A/C Progress In the 1900s? 

The first air conditioner was created by Willis Carrier in 1902, as a solution to the heat problem at a company printing plant. The Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company found it necessary to keep paper cool while printing, so a machine was built by Willis Carrier that did just that. The device dehumidified and cooled the air on the printing surface, keeping the papers and ink from suffering damage. The equipment was capable of lowering humidity levels by up to 55%. Later on, in 1915, Willis Carrier worked with the Buffalo Forge Company to establish the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America. Today, this firm is now most recognized across the HVAC industry as Carrier. 

Air conditioning wasn’t originally accessible to everyone. It was initially used by manufacturers and industries to preserve their goods. Air conditioning was later utilized in the White House and other major executive buildings in 1930. When movie theaters started to install central air, customers learned that air conditioning might provide additional comfort at home as well. Thus the market for residential homes was created. The 1950’s was the turning point for A/C’s to be accepted in residential homes across the country. 

According to the 2020 Energy Consumption Survey, air conditioners are in use by 88% of American homes. We may now enjoy regulated air in our homes as a result of those who came before us. Every step forward and HVAC milestone was a stepping stone that resulted in today’s high-efficiency A/C systems. If you have any problems with your heating or cooling system, Bridgetown Heating & Cooling is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you. So call today at (513) 273-1335, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!