History of Air-Conditioning
The current air conditioning system was invented 116 years ago, but not because it was hot, but in order to increase the quality of the work of one Brooklyn lithography company.
First air condition concepts
Although a modern air conditioning technology is relatively recent, since ancient times man has been developing ways to cool his home and to experience aircon benefits during the summer months.
The first appearance of the term air conditioning is related to ancient Egypt, which was consisted of wet reeds. In Ancient Rome, a watercourse was used to circulate the water along the walls of individual houses in order to cool them down. In Persia, “wind towers” were used to accelerate the air circulation through the house.
In the 2nd century, Chinese inventor Ding Huan developed a rotary cooling fan with seven wheels and 3 meters in diameter, which were moved manually by seven people. The Emperor Xuanzong (five centuries later) built a cold room in the palace, cooled by fans powered by water.
18th and 19th-century experiments
In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley (chemistry professor at Cambridge) performed experiments to explore the principles of evaporation as a means of rapid cooling. They have come to the conclusion that rapidly evaporating liquids, such as alcohol and the like, can cool the objects to below the water freezing point.
1820, British scientist Faraday discovered that by bringing ammonia to a liquid state under pressure, the air can be cooled when liquid ammonia is allowed to evaporate. 20 years later, John Gorrie (a Florida doctor) used a compressor technique to create ice that he later used to cool the patients in his hospital. He hoped that one day, the ice-machine would be able to regulate the temperature in buildings. His machine had problems with gas leaks and did not work reliably, so he failed to find sponsors who would invest in further development.
In 1851 in Australia, James Harrison made a reliable, mechanical ice machine. The machine produced 3 tons of ice per day.
Modern air conditioners
In the beginning of the 20th century, in the year of 1902, Willis Carrier in New York invented the first modern air conditioner. His cooling device not only controlled the temperature but also the humidity of the air. The machine was used to maintain the same micro-climate conditions in the room to keep the ink in place.
The massive production of air conditioning units has started with Carrier’s Air Conditioning Company, especially to increase the productivity in the workplace. Sales of homes with air conditioners drastically increased during the fifties.
Since then, the air conditioner’s market constantly grows and develops. Because air conditioning systems are becoming smaller and cheaper, its use expands, increasing the comfort in homes, cars and in the workplace.
In addition to cooling and regulating the air’s humidity, air conditioning systems filter it, purify, ionize, heat and generally do a lot for our comfort. Increased number of these systems also created a lot of jobs in the aircon services space.