History Of The Modern Air Conditioner

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History Of The Modern Air Conditioner

The air conditioner allows for climate control of homes and businesses and is one of the most important inventions in history. It’s hard to imagine dealing with the heat and humidity of summer without our air conditioning.

The first modern electricity-powered air conditioner was invented in 1902 by an engineer in Buffalo, New York trying to solve humidity issues at a publishing company. The device cooled air and controlled humidity levels via air circulated through cooling coils. Today’s air conditioners are based on the same technology, enhanced over the course of the past century. They use refrigeration to chill indoor air, utilizing a process that forces special chemical compounds to evaporate and condense over and over again in a closed system of coils. Systems are charged with refrigerants whose chemical compositions change from liquid to gas at relatively low temperatures. Fans move warm interior air over the cold, refrigerant-filled coils. Central air conditioning units have a whole system of ducts designed to funnel air to and from these serpentine, air-chilling coils and throughout homes and buildings.

Back to the history. The American public was first exposed to air conditioning at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. A milestone in comfort cooling technology happened in the 1920s, when Americans flocked to movie theaters equipped with air conditioning systems. However, air conditioning units were still too large and expensive for public consumption. In the 1930s, smaller residential units became available but still remained too costly for consumers. By the late 1940s, inexpensive versions of residential air conditioners were developed and by the mid-to-late 1960s, most new homes had central air conditioning systems. Window A/C units for older homes were also more affordable than ever, fueling population growth in many hot-weather states like Arizona, Florida and Texas. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2015 air conditioning was used in nearly 100 million American homes, a whopping 87% of all households.

Your friends at Kotz are proud of the long history of the home comfort industry. Call us today for all your air conditioning needs.