The History of Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is commonly thought of as just that thing at cools places down. It is not just used for cooling it can be used for heating, ventilation and disinfecting air, anything that changes the conditions of air, but cooling is the most common usage, in cars, houses or otherwise. To cool a room down the air conditioning unit uses a refrigeration cycle to extract heat from a place, whether it is in your car or your home.

The first effort to create an air conditioner was made by Dr. John Gorrie, he created an ice making machine and air was blew over a bucket of ice effectively cooling down rooms.

In 1820, a British scientist, Michael Faraday, found that if liquefied ammonia evaporated the air that it evaporated into would chill. Willis Haviland Carrier was the man who first invented the Air Conditioning unit in 1902; it not only controlled the temperature but also the humidity. Chilled coils were used in the machine to make it possible to lower humidity to as little as 55% but was made with so much precision that the humidity was able to be altered. His technology was later used in other work places to try and increase production and it became in very high demand and The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America was created to meet this high demand. Over time the air conditioning as moved on from work places into automobiles as well as homes.

In1906 Stuart W. Cramer, from North Carolina, coined the term Air Conditioning’. He used the idea of the evaporating ammonia, from Michael Faraday, in a machine to try and condition’ the temperature of the air in one of his factories. Carrier adopted the Air conditioning term and incorporated into his company name. This process is now known as evaporative cooling.

Air conditioning units were potentially fatal until in 1928 when Thomas Midgley Jr. came up with Freon and then air conditioning units were much safer for humans. Until then if any air conditioning unit leaked the effects could have been deadly as the gases used were poison, ammonia and propane.

For most of us who have experienced a soaring heat wave and have the advantage of this cooling system, we are thankful for this invention, it is an invention that would be hard to live without.