Air Conditioning is relatively new!

air conditioning historyAlthough this may comes as a shock to the younger generation, we have not always had house heating and cooling. I for one certainly remember not having air conditioning in houses and cars!

It might be interesting to look at some historical facts about heating and air conditioning to provide some appreciation for what we have.

Let’s look at air conditioning first.

We used to not live as long. Of course life might have been harder, but the advances in air conditioning has allowed spectacular advances in medical technology impossible before. Have you heard of Carrier Air Conditioning? Will Carrier came up with the idea while he was working for a publishing company!

Today Americans are addicted to cool air. In fact, studies have show that we actually are less tolerant to heat due to being in conditioned air so much. It also has changed the way we live. In the old days, glass was never used because of the issues with thermal transfer where now there are huge skyscrapers with walls of solid glass – and of course no windows!

Another interesting tidbit is that the amount of power used for air conditioning in the US would provide enough power for the whole continent of Africa! Computers would not be here if not for air conditioning as they are unable to work in fluctuating temps and especially not in heat!

When you drive down the street, how often do you see the car windows open? Not often. Packard Motor Cars first installed air conditioning and I easily remember a/c being an option in cars I bought.

Do you know why schools have summer vacation? Because of the heat. Now even with air conditioning, schools still let out for the summer. In older days, many business would shut down for two months in summer including Washington DC! Houses and building used to be constructed with high ceilings, huge windows and covered porches to allows air to circulate in the warmer months. of course this meant it was harder to heat in the winter!

One of the first building to use a/c was the NY Stock Exchange in 1903. Herbert Hoover added air conditioning to the White House and Franklin Roosevelt added it to the White House bedrooms. Of course the advent of air conditioning has created a real estate boom in certain areas considered inhabitable previously like south Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. One of the first industries to ebrace /c was movie theaters. In the summer you went to the movies to cool off!

And finally, air conditioning hurt the ice industry as ice was used for refrigeration and cooling. There was a huge business in cutting ice blocks and storing them in huge warehouses for shipping during the hot months!

We hope these little fun facts help you appreciate your air conditioning and your air conditioning repairman! Call us today to make sure yours is operating at peak performance!