In order to understand modern air conditioning, we will first revisit the olden days and brush up on our air conditioning history. In history classes, we learned about ancient Romans who first attempted to cool temperatures indoors. They did this by having aqueducts run cool water through the walls of their homes. And then, there was Elagabalus. He was a Roman emperor who had ordered a mountain of snow to be built in the garden next to his villa, with hopes of keeping him cool during the hot summer months. Lastly, fans proved to be the conditioner of air for more than 3,000 years in China.
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Air Conditioning History – A Chilling Revelation
In 1902, a young engineer named Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning system. Originally designed to control humidity in the printing plant where he worked, the wonderful byproduct was human comfort. This air conditioning system sent air through a water cooled coil. According to Carrier, “If I can saturate air and control its temperature at saturation, I can get air with any amount of moisture I want in it. I can do it, too, by drawing the air through a fine spray of water to create actual fog.”
Willis Carrier realized that he could dry air by passing it through water, using the spray as a condensing surface. By 1903, he had completed the apparatus first visualized on that foggy Pittsburgh evening. It was the world’s first spray-type air conditioning system able to both wash and humidify or dehumidify air. Modern air conditioning now had its fundamental building block.
Some of Carrier’s early clients included: The Celluloid Company, the Gillette Safety Razor Company and American Tobacco Company. By 1915, Carrier had installed air conditioning in facilities producing everything from celluloid film to textiles, paper, flour and pharmaceuticals. The candy and confectioners were next to jump aboard. With the adoption of modern air conditioning, it revolutionized the manufacturing of candy and treats. Who knew air conditioning history could be so sweet?
The Demand for Human Comfort
In May 1922 Willis Carrier unveiled his single most influential innovation, the centrifugal refrigeration machine (or “chiller”). Carrier’s chiller added a central compressor to reduce the unit’s size. He was a step closer to providing air conditioning units in theaters, stores, offices and homes. In 1924 the first installation of air conditioning at a department store was contracted by the J. L. Hudson Company in Detroit. This led to the complete centrifugal chiller system in 1925 at the Rivoli Theatre in Times Square in New York City. It was met with instant acclaim.
Into the 1930’s air conditioning had spread to offices, rail cars, churches and department stores. Finally, productivity numbers were up in offices during those sweltering summer months. By the 1950’s Carrier’s air conditioning units were installed around the world in thousands of factories, offices, stores and homes, and in hospitals, hotels, skyscrapers, airplanes, mines and more than 10,000 ships at sea.
Cooling the World as We Know It
According to Carrier, “Very few industries survive to the century mark. Fewer still can define themselves as ‘growth industries’ more than a hundred years after their origin.” Modern air conditioning, invented by Willis Carrier in 1902 and transformed over the decades into the business of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration, is one of those exceptional few. Since its founding Carrier has led the world in commercial air conditioning applications and in residential year-round comfort. The company’s equipment controls climates in the world’s essential industries, tallest buildings and grandest theaters, and in homes of every shape and description.
Home-Tech is proud to sell, repair and install Carrier air conditioning systems. We are one of the only Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers in southwest Florida. Carrier selected Home-Tech because of our extensive training programs, quality employees and our reputation in the community. It means that Home-Tech also respects and views Carrier as the premium line of HVAC products in the industry. Celebrating air conditioning history means celebrating modern technology and all it has to offer.
Should you need your air conditioning repaired or replaced, please contact one of our Comfort Specialists at 800-800-8356, or schedule online.