Thank God for AC! Could you imagine dealing with sweltering heat without the luxury of an air conditioner? Anyone who has been without an AC and solely uses fans within their homes may have some idea of the struggle. But in fact, people lived for centuries without cooling appliances; and had to find other methods of keeping cool. So travel back in time with Middletown Heating & Cooling, and let’s see how we got from then to now. 

What Is the Ancient History Of the AC? 

If we were to jump back in time, what things would we have seen people doing to keep cool? In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians presumably hung wet clothes in entryways. The idea was to create an evaporating cooling effect by producing a fresher breeze as the winds blew. In ancient China, in roughly 180 AD, Ding Huan invented a rotary fan, hand-cranked to create a draft. Following this, ancient Rome used their innovative engineering skills to develop the aqueduct. By doing so, the Romans could pump cold water through the walls of the elite to freshen up and keep their homes cool during the hot summers. The aqueduct is just one of the many elegant and life-alter inventions Rome has gifted to future generations! 

What Inventions Lead Up To the Modern AC? 

As we move along in time, we start to see more and more developments that were crucial to the creation of the modern air conditioner. One of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, investigated the effects of evaporative cooling along with his colleague John Hadley in 1758 and were able to lower the temperature of a thermometer from 64° F to 7° F! Then, in 1830, an American physician, Dr. John Gorrie, began work on the first mechanical cooling apparatus ever recorded. Although bulky and requiring an insane amount of ice water to function, it could cool a room by as much as 20 degrees. His invention, patented in 1851 and used primarily in hospital rooms, was revolutionary in creating a healthier environment for treating ailments such as yellow fever. Science, people! So fascinating and essential for the future of humankind! 

What Is the Timeline For the Modern Air Conditioner? 

  • The Early 1900s: Willis Carrier is known for inventing the first air conditioner resemblant to the models we see today, in 1902. His machine could cool air significantly and lower humidity levels by roughly 55 percent! Carrier’s Rational Psychometric Formula, presented in 1911, is fundamental to the air conditioning technology of today. Fast-forward a few years to 1914, and we have our first in-home air conditioning machine, installed in a mansion, with the whopping size of 7 ft tall and 20 ft wide! Not exactly discreet, but Carrier was certainly onto something! Spring forward to 1928, not only are air conditioners now more reasonably sized, but hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) is discovered, becoming a standard refrigerant utilized in residential air conditioners, at least for the time being. 
  • The Mid-1900s: Air conditioners became exceptionally popular in suburban homes during the middle of the century, and records show the installation of roughly 74,000 air conditioners during this time. In 1953, the popularity of air conditioners had risen so much that the supply could not keep up with the demand! Then in 1957, the rotary compressor was invented, making quiet and efficient air conditioning units a reality.  
  • The Late 1900s: The 70s was a demanding time for central air conditioning in large city commercial buildings, so many air conditioning companies began popping up to help meet this demand. And in the 90s, the energy used for air conditioning doubled over ten years, making it essential to generate more energy-efficient units to stay up to code with modern environmental laws. 

We’ve come a long way even in the last millennia! I’m eager to see what the next innovations will come in the next decade or so regarding air conditioning! When it comes to science, things are constantly being discovered and revolutionized! Middletown Heating & Cooling is continuously pushing to provide the best and most innovative HVAC technology available, and as the science advances, so will our hardworking team! Call us today at (513) 268-3789, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here