When Was Air Conditioning Invented?

When Was Air Conditioning Invented?

In our warming world, air conditioning becomes more and more vital every year.  If you’re wondering when was air conditioning invented, the answer is “it depends”; the air conditioning machines of modern times are only a little over 100 years old, yet the practice of home air conditioning dates back to early civilization.  Some homes built thousands of years ago in the Middle East were found to be double-walled, with a gap for airflow between them; this is the earliest known instance of home air conditioning.  Before the days of modern machinery, there were a number of ways in which people cooled their homes.  Mostly, these techniques involved thoughtful architecture, utilizing well-placed openings to facilitate airflow and thermal dynamics.  Often, homes were built with openings in the highest point; hot air rises, and can thus be vented with this technique.  Cross breezes and other techniques were also commonly used to help maintain cool indoor temperatures.  In the early Tang dynasty, it is said the Chinese emperor had a “Cool Hall” built in his imperial palace; this hall was outfitted with water-powered rotary fans and fountains for air conditioning purposes.  In places where ice formed in the winter, it was often harvested and kept in underground ice houses

Whose Invention is the Modern Air Conditioner Unit?

What we know today as air conditioning refers to a machine that utilizes electricity to control indoor temperatures.  The invention of this machine is credited to American inventor Willis Haviland Carrier in 1901; he installed his invention in a Brooklyn printing plant.  The controlled indoor climate allowed for more consistent prints, as changes in heat and humidity can cause the paper to warp. Willis Carrier was not the first person to use the term “air conditioner,” however.  The term was coined by a textile mill owner, Stuart W. Cramer, in 1906.  Cramer used the term to describe a technique he employed in his textile mill, that combined ventilation with moisture to increase humidity inside the mill.  While this isn’t exactly the same as what Willis Carrier did, Carrier adopted the term for himself soon after. Willis Carrier founded The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America several years later; his company has since grown into a multinational corporation and remains one of the world’s leading HVAC manufacturers today.  Air conditioners for personal use became popular quickly among the elite class; early air conditioning machines were extremely large and expensive, making them inaccessible for most people.  It was not until 1931 that the first window air conditioners were created, by inventors H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman; this style of small A/C unit is still in use today.

When Was Air Conditioning Invented, and How Has Home HVAC Changed Since Then?

Air conditioners have come a long way since they were invented in 1901.  Engineers of today are constantly inventing new ways to improve our HVAC systems.  For example, heating and cooling capabilities can now be combined into one unit with what’s known as a heat pump; heat pumps can reverse the direction of their heat exchangers, and are more energy efficient than ever before.  While heat pumps are still less common than central air conditioning technologies in many places, they become more popular every year.  Because of their energy efficiency, the United States energy department began an initiative in 2021 to accelerate the advancement of heat pump air conditioning technology.

If you’re looking for an air conditioner, trust us at Green City Heating & Air to bring you the latest information; call us at (206) 249-9772 or fill out our online contact form.  We service areas all across Washington state and are ready to help you achieve the cool, comfortable home you deserve.

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