Who's Idea was Air Conditioning any way !!
Do you ever wonder how the idea of air conditioning evolved into what we know it as today? Although the idea of cooling an area which is too hot in itself is not groundbreaking, it nevertheless needed someone get the ball rolling.
Efforts to put ideas of air conditioning into practise began back in the Roman times using diverted aqueduct water between walls to cool buildings down.
By 1820, it had been discovered that ammonia when compressed then liquefied, would cool the air as the liquefied gas evaporated. Unfortunately, it was quite dangerous, so leakages were potentially fatal to humans.
During the 1840s, a more modern idea of air conditioning was to blow air over ice to cool a room down, devised by a doctor who wanted to cool his hospital down. However, this idea never materialised into anything substantial as funding from a major investor fell through. The doctor died a pauper, his life savings ploughed into his invention.
It wasn't until the early 1900s that an electric air conditioner of modern standards was devised. Not for personal reasons but instead to improve conditions within a printing factory, the air conditioning unit was patented under the name Apparatus for treating air by Willis Carrier. It was aptly named air conditioner by William Cramer in 1906, based on the name for a type of treatment for textiles called water conditioning.
By 1928, the substance “Freon” had been discovered as a much better alternative to the very dangerous propane, ammonia or methyl chloride, as a coolant. Nearly a century later, this too was discovered to be fatal, but to the earth’s ozone layer instead of people. It’s use as a coolant in all air conditioning systems and units was banned in 1995.
Air conditioning in cars began around the 1940s. Though very basic in the beginning, it wasn’t long before the units installed in cars had become more advanced and more complex. Though we hardly notice it’s there until there is a problem, it is wise to service your air conditioning units frequently. Luckily, it is easily and rapidly done with the services of a SMART car technician.
In 1946, sales of air conditioning units rocketed from just 30,000, to over a million less than a decade later, in 1953. As air conditioning units changed the way we worked, allowing stable temperatures to be maintained in working environments despite soaring temperatures, so too their demand increased. Today, over 6 million units are produced and shipped every year.
1955 saw the introduction of frozen meals or TV Dinners so mass marketing began, and still continues to date.
Air conditioning units - including the ones in cars operate on a system comprising a compressor, condenser, evaporator, device to regulate the pressure, receiver/dryer/filter, accumulator, and coolant/refrigerant. Prior to 1957, the compressor was a large structure, requiring a considerable amount of space, thus making the air conditioner itself quite cumbersome. However, in 1957, a rotary compressor was introduced which allowed air conditioning units to be built much smaller.
1998 saw the formation of a long-term multi-million dollar research project to reduce the amount of energy used in air conditioning units and refrigerators, whilst at the same time, improve and develop the quality of the air indoors.
Today, modern air conditioning units allow us to work in high-rise glass buildings, live comfortably in countries with a hot climate all year round, maintain stable conditions within factories, stop chocolate bars melting, and babies overheating.
When we think of inventions that have made our lives much easier, air conditioning is not the first one that springs to mind. However, without it, many people wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, our excess food wouldn’t keep, and we would sweat a lot more!