Tag Archives: history of air conditioning

The Evolution of Air Conditioning

30 Jun
first air conditioner

Dr John Goorie’s Air Conditioning Invention

Air conditioning is something that can be found in about 100 million homes across the USA but that was not always the case.

There was a time in our history that people were very uncomfortable when the temperature went up due to air conditioning not yet being invented or not yet developed to the point where it could be easily installed into someone’s home.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of the air conditioner:

1840 – A Floridan named Dr John Goorie, proposed that a cooler environment would help decrease disease and make patients more comfortable in their hospital rooms. He tried to accomplish this by having ice shipped in from frozen lakes and streams up north but that became too expensive. Next, he started fiddling around with the concept of an artificial cooling system.

1851 – Dr John Goorie secured a patent for a compressor that was powered by a horse, wind and utilized water or steam. Although his financial backer died before this invention could come to market, the foundation for modern style air and refrigeration was set.

1904 – Willis H Carrier filed a patent for an apparatus for treating air. His system controlled humidity by using cooling coils. He eventually left his job and with six other engineers formed Carrier Engineering Corporation.

1904 – The first time the public was exposed to the comforts of having cooled air was at the St Louis World Fair. Organizers for the fair used mechanical refrigeration to cool the 1,000-seat auditorium at the Missouri State Building.

1922 – 1925 – The first early public cooling systems were in the movie theater where crowds would flock to watch movies while sitting in the comfort of cool air. These early units were heating systems modified with refrigeration equipment (huge sized systems) that cooled to some degree but not evenly. Some areas of the room would be hot and some cold.

1929 – Frigidaire came up with a split level unit for home use but still it was too expensive, heavy and required a separate condensing unit.

1930 – 1931 – General Electric produced 32 prototypes of a room cooler that was self contained which was an improvement on Frigidaire’s model from the year before.

1932 – H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman built units that could fit on a window ledge but were too expensive so not many were purchased.

1947 – Engineer Henry Galson developed a better more compact ac unit that was spin off of the window ledge unit but was less expensive so he set up production lines with multiple manufacturers and for the first time the public could enjoy the comfort of cool air without having to make expensive changes to their homes.

1960 – Most new homes were being equipped with central air conditioning and window units were very affordable.

1970 – After the energy crisis hit, new laws were passed to reduce energy consumption which included new regulation on energy efficiency standards for air conditioning units.

Since 1992 conservation standards from the Energy Department for manufacturers of residential central air conditioners and heat pumps have been issued. New a/c units are much more efficient than they were in 1990 utilizing 50% less energy to operate.

What will happen with the future of air conditioning? As we all know new technologies are always on the horizon in many different industries including HVAC so we will see what comes down the pipeline in the future.

If your ac unit is in need of maintenance, repair or you need a new system for your home or business, give us a call. Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

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Sources: Dept of Energy
Wikipedia

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