The History Behind Air Conditioning

San Antonio Air Conditioning HistoryEarly Stages of Heating and Cooling

Romans were the first civilization to think about controlling the temperature of a space. With their complex aqueduct systems they were able to circulate cool water throughout the walls of different buildings.

They were even known to transport large amounts of ice and snow using donkeys to keep villas cool in the summer. Luxuries such as these were lost during the Dark Ages, where basic survival became a necessity over comfort, and didn’t return until centuries later during the 1800’s.

Heating and Cooling Innovations

In the 1800’s American engineers began to focus their energy on solving the heating a cooling problem that had plagued man since the beginning.

Hand power rotary fans had been invented centuries prior and did a decent job at keeping a room cool, but not enough to stop the ambitions of engineers. In 1881, a President James Garfield was kept cool by having air blown at him through cotton sheets doused in ice water. This method was able to produce cold air, but it was not cost effective.

The real innovations began when electricity was harnessed. Alternative current motors, created by Nikola Tesla, were able to make fans, which previously needed to be rotated by hand to provide air flow, spin and oscillate with electricity. In 1902 Willis Carrier, and engineer from New York, created the first modern air-conditioning system.

It was created to control humidity in the printing plant where he worked. It wasn’t until twenty years later did he build off of his invention so it could be used to keep humans cool. In 1925 his creation was debuted at the Rivoli Theater in Times Square on Memorial Day.

After Willis Carrier

By the time the 1930’s came around almost all retail store and office buildings had air conditioning. This meant that employees were able to continue working in the summer heat. Even trains were outfitted with air conditioners that allowed them to transport perishables over greater distances.

Only about 10% of homes had some type of cooling system installed. Residential buildings were just not big enough to be able to house the large machines that were early day air conditioners.

As air conditioners became smaller and more efficient the amount of people who had a system in their home increased to almost 90%. Heat, which has always been easier to produce, has benefited from the invention of the air conditioner and has also became more efficient. Innovations are happening everyday to create a more useful heating and cooling unit.

Looking for an HVAC technician in San Antonio? Call Rosenberg Indoor Comfort at (210) 987-5587 for quality service you can trust!