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The History of A/C

With summer approaching, it has us thinking about all the wonderful benefits air conditioning has provided since its inception in 1902. Throughout history, humans have gone to great lengths to control the temperature—from importing snow to sticking their undergarments in an icebox. 

Temperature control started with the Ancient Romans; they ran already-developedaqueducts and ran them through the walls of their homes to help keep them cool.The emperor Elagabalus took things a step further in the thirdcentury, building a mountain of snow—imported from the mountains via donkeytrains—in the garden next to his villa to keep cool during the summer. Asexpected, this method of staying cool wasn’t very effective.

Primitive air conditioning systems were often quite expensive andweren’t very effective. In the United States, things began to change in theearly 1900s when the first electric fans appeared in homes. But cooling unitshave only spread beyond American borders in the last couple of decades, withthe confluence of a rising global middle class and breakthroughs in energy-efficienttechnology.

Skipping ahead to more modern times in 1902, a 25-year-oldengineer from New York named Willis Carrier invented the first modernair-conditioning system. The mechanical unit, which sent air throughwater-cooled coils, was not initially aimed at providing human comfort, however;it was designed to control humidity in the printing plant where he worked. In1922, he followed up with the invention of the centrifugal chiller, which addeda central compressor to reduce the unit’s size. It was introduced to thepublic on Memorial Day weekend in 1925, where it debuted in a movietheater in Times Square. For years afterward, people piled into air-conditionedmovie theaters on hot summer days, giving rise to the summer blockbuster.

Today, heating and cooling is much more advanced, more than 80% of homes are built with heating and cooling systems pre-installed. But with the coming of the digital age, heating and cooling weren’t far behind, consumers are now able to remotely track heating and cooling cycles as well as energy efficiency from their cellphones and computers. The heating and cooling landscape is dramatically changing right now, expect to see better, longer lasting, and more efficient products to hit the market for consumers.

If you live in Oakland County and want to ensure that your A/C unit runs smoothly this summer, H.A. Sun Heating & Air Conditioning would love to help you out! Give us a call at (248) 335-4555 or schedule an appointment online!

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