Stepping Back into the History of Air Conditioning

history of air conditioning

Back to the Beginning: A History of Air Conditioning

Hot, hot, and hot. Those would be the three words anyone would use to describe a summer without any air conditioning. Though the warm summer days are meant to be enjoyed (because they don’t last too long), people still need a place to go and cool down so they don’t become too sunburnt, dehydrated, or ill. Many households have some form of AC at home, and these systems are used often during the summer months. But how did this system come about? Who was the inventor that helped to make hot, summer days more enjoyable? 

Homeowners can learn more about the history of the AC unit, including its inventor, in this article. They can also learn about the similarities between AC units back then compared to AC units today.

The Infamous AC Inventor

Willis CarrierThere are all kinds of modern-day inventions that were built to make life easier and more comfortable: electric mixers, washing machines, microwaves, robot vacuum cleaners, air conditioning, etc. But how many people can name the great inventors of those products?

Who was the man that invented the first modern AC? Answer: Willis Carrier. Carrier was born in Angola, New York in 1876, and he graduated with a degree in engineering not knowing that someday his future invention would be one of the most-used home systems for decades to come. 

While standing at a train platform on a foggy day, an idea struck when he realized how he could control the air’s humidity: he could reduce moisture in the air by passing it through water to create fog. In 1902, he built the first air conditioner and has been known as the “Father of Air Conditioning” ever since.

The Critical Time Period of AC Development

old style clock

The early 1900s was a time of many advancements, particularly within manufacturing and engineering as well as societal changes. For many years, people had longed for a way to create a more comfortable indoor environment by controlling its temperature. The invention of air conditioning made this possible for not only homeowners but businesses too, which led to incredible growth for all types of businesses. Movie blockbusters in the summertime grew in popularity, as people came to the theaters to escape the heat outside. 

The invention of AC improved facilities for manufacturing, making it more comfortable for employees with less heat from all of the machinery. For textile manufacturers specifically, it also improved the quality control of their products, so clothing wasn’t exposed to too much humidity during the manufacturing process. The invention of AC also paved the way for shopping malls, international travel, and eventually led to computers and servers, which are essential in today’s world. 

Air Conditioner Development From Then Until Now

outdoor hvac unitWhen comparing the first AC model to what the average person has in their home today, there have been quite a few advancements made. The original air conditioner was quite large. If someone were to try and fit the unit into their home today, it would take up an entire room, and then branch into the next room over. 

It was 7 feet high, 6 feet wide, and 20 feet long! The size of the unit has changed dramatically since the early 1900s, but it still uses the same engineering concepts: it draws out the warm air from inside of the house and pushes it outside, thus removing the heat. Only now, the device can fit right below a window or outside of the door. 

About G.F Bowman, Inc.

Since 1967, G.F. Bowman, Inc. has strived to provide quality work and high priority service. They proudly provide top-rated AC repair services in Harrisburg and Lebanon, PA. As a family-owned and operated business of three generations, they have a unique understanding of what the community needs because they are a part of the community. They believe that the only way to provide excellent service is to do it with respect and concern for their customers.