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A Brief History of Air Conditioning

Air conditioning has existed for only a brief portion of human history.  Indeed, the sweltering triple digit temperatures of Arizona have only been bearable for about a hundred years. Air-conditioning is one of the many things we take for granted, along with indoor plumbing. So, in an effort to gain gratitude for your HVAC provider, a brief history of air-conditioning follows.

The Progenitors of AC

The first known account of AC comes from Roman times. During a hot summer day, Romans would hang a drenched sheet before the living room. As the wind blew in, it would pass through the damp sheet and create a wind chill effect for the people in the house. But AC innovation halted there. The next step towards modern AC was liquid evaporation. This was actually pioneered by our beloved founding father Ben Franklin. With the help of fellow scientist, John Hadley, Ben found that evaporating certain liquids into the atmosphere could drastically reduce the temperature of the home.

The next step in AC innovation was the ice making machine. This was pioneered by Dr. John Gorrie. Basically, an ice machine produced massive amounts of ice, and a fan was blown over the ice to cool a room. Not the most impressive example of engineering but nevertheless the ice bucket method was fairly effective.

It was not until 1902 that modern AC hit the main stream. Willis H. Carrier invented what is now the modern day AC. But it was not until the 1930’s that AC units began to gain widespread acceptance. It was not to enhance the quality of working conditions, house, to keep printing houses at the proper temperature to preserver the ink. Nowadays, life without an AC seems untenable. Indeed, the Arizona desert depends on the existence of AC to sustain its generous human population.

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