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What Is the History of the Modern Air Conditioner?

Jul 19, 2022 | A/C, Air Conditioner, Blog, Cincinnati, Cooling, Five Star, History, HVAC, OH, Ohio

Central air conditioning is truly a great thing. During the hottest months of the year, we can sit down with the family for a movie night in a cooled room, host gatherings for summer holidays, knowing we can escape to the solstice of a cold house if the outdoor heat gets to be too much, or we can even take a nap mid-day while relaxing on the weekend. Of course, none of this would be possible without the commodity of a functioning A/C system. However, it wasn’t always this way. A/C systems did not always exist. Neither were they accepted immediately into residential homes. In fact, air conditioning systems have come a long way since their first designs. So how did it all start? Well, that’s what Five Star Heating & Cooling Cincinnati is here for! Keep reading to discover the progression of the modern A/C. 

What Was the Progression Of the A/C In the 1800s? 

During the 1840s, a physician named Dr. John Gorries came up with the concept of artificial cooling. He wanted to provide patients dealing with diseases like yellow fever and other tropical illnesses with some sort of cooling relief. To achieve this, he started experimenting with artificial cooling. This led to his invention of a small machine that used a compressor to create ice and was powered by steam. His machine was patented in 1851. Unfortunately, this invention was not successfully made available to the public, but it was used in medical facilities to provide patients with relief. However, his creation did lay the groundwork for modern air conditioning and refrigeration later. 

What Was the Progression Of the A/C in the 1900s? 

Gorries’ concept of artificial cooling remained unexplored for a good while until an engineer named Willis Carrier accepted a job that required the invention of a cooling unit. A printing factory in New York hired Carrier to come up with a solution to keep the humidity levels in their rooms balanced and their factory cool. At the time, they were experiencing issues with the paper and ink deforming due to the high levels of humidity. Carrier was successful in his first design, and the first modern electrical air conditioning system was created. In 1902, he partnered with the Buffalo Forge Company but eventually broke off and formed his company called Carrier Engineering Corporation along with six other skilled engineers. Today, Willis Carrier’s brand is famously known in the HVAC industry as Carrier. 

Initially, air conditioner systems were only acceptable in factories to protect products and large buildings like theaters and executive buildings. However, when this cooling technology reached the theaters, consumers started realizing they could benefit from the comfort of cool air within their homes. Thus, the market for air conditioning opened up for residential homes in the mid-1900s. By the 1960s, most new homes had A/C systems installed in their homes. 

What Was the Progression Of the A/C in the 2000s? 

Fast forward to 2022, central air is now in almost 100 million homes across the country. This means that about 87% of American homes benefit from central air conditioning. What was once only considered a luxury is now considered a basic necessity. Modern air conditioning models now let us enjoy regulated air, lowered humidity levels, reduced energy consumption, and improved air quality. Homeowners can choose from various models that will best suit their needs and budget. 

Air conditioning development will only continue to progress. As technology advances, so will the modern A/C system. The search for even more energy-efficient, sustainable machinery is neverending. It will be interesting to see how much air conditioners develop over the next decade or so. Progression is inevitable, but one thing is for sure – Five Star Heating & Cooling Cincinnati will always remain but a phone call away. We are here for all of your HVAC needs. You can reach us at (513) 216-5011 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here