Air Conditioning – A History Lesson

Air Conditioning - A History Lesson

Air Conditioning- A History

The battle for comfortable living in the face of hot weather is one that has been raging since the earliest days of humankind. This article explores the evolution of air conditioning, from handheld fans and a booming ice trade to modern refrigeration and cooling techniques. Throughout this article, you’ll find extravagant and somewhat barbaric techniques used for centuries. By the end of the article, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars for your family’s modern, efficient air conditioning Virginia Beach residents!

Evaporative cooling techniques- Evaporative cooling reduces air temperature and adds moisture through the evaporation of water. This technique dates back at least to ancient Egypt, where people would hang wet mats over their doorways and slaves would fan clay jars filled with water. Similarly, Native Americans dug water trenches beneath their huts, while settlers in the American West kept cool during hot nights by hanging wet sheets on their sleeping porches. In 19th-century New England, evaporative cooling was used to temper the blazing heat inside textile mills.

Attempts at air conditioning continued in ancient Rome, where wealthy citizens took advantage of the remarkable aqueduct system to circulate cool water through the walls of their homes. The aqueducts operated by means of gravity, allowing water to stream downwards. The emperor Elagabalus took things a step further in the third century, building a mountain of snow—imported from the mountains via donkey trains—in the garden next to his villa to keep cool during the summer.

In the intervening centuries, fans were the coolant of choice. Hand fans were used in China as early as 3,000 years ago, and a second-century Chinese inventor has been credited with building the first room-sized rotary fan (it was powered by hand). Queen Elizabeth, among other high-profile members of society at time also enjoyed fans for their aesthetic properties, for their fans were often hand-made in France and quite expensive.

Air Conditioning - A History Lesson

Although not directly related to air conditioning, one interesting industry that emerged early in the 20th century was the ice industry. After chipping ice from icebergs, the ship and crew would then deliver the ice to consumers mostly for refrigeration purposes, but the ice was also used for conditioning of the air inside a home.

The invention of electricity allowed for electric fans to become a popular choice for cooling. And in 1902, a 25-year-old engineer from New York named Willis Carrier (who would later found Carrier, Inc.) invented the first modern air-conditioning system. The mechanical unit, which sent air through water-cooled coils, was not aimed at human comfort, however; it was designed to control humidity in the printing plant where he worked. In 1922, he followed up with the invention of the centrifugal chiller, which added a central compressor to reduce the unit’s size. It was introduced to the public on Memorial Day weekend, 1925, when it debuted at the Rivoli Theater in Times Square. This is where the term summer blockbuster comes from!

From there, air condition spread to wealthy business and wealthy people, and soon became adapted for personal, household use. The air conditioner has come a long way, and continues to provide cooling comfort to nearly every household in the developed world.

For an informative, fun photo collage portraying staying cool through the ages, click here.

Now you might appreciate your air conditioning Virginia Beach a little more after hearing the all arduous steps taken to stay cool in the past. A-1 American Services offers ac repair Virginia Beach , ac repair Newport News, Va , and everywhere else in Hampton Roads. For your home’s next air conditioning malfunction, call the heating and air conditioning Virginia Beach professionals, A-1 American Services.



A-1 American provides Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing Services, like Heating Repair for homes and businesses in the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton and north into Williamsburg. A-1 American provides emergency service and repair, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. A-1 American charges by the job, not by the hour. A-1 American prides itself on immediate response, punctuality, courtesy and customer satisfaction. Call today 757-425-2400

By | 2014-02-08T21:23:04+00:00 February 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|