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History of the Air Conditioner

It’s difficult to imagine a time without air conditioning, especially here in sunny Southern California. However, everything has to start somewhere, and the air conditioner is no exception.

Humble Beginnings

Air conditioning was originally invented for the purpose of preserving food and preventing the growth of bacteria. Scientists found that bacteria growth is rapidly reduced below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and this led to the conclusion that the amount of food left to spoil at room temperature in homes, stores, and restaurants could be greatly reduced.
The first intentionally created ice was a product of the physician John Gorrie in 1842 using liquefied ammonia and compressor technology. His primary intention with his invention besides preserving food safety was to prevent debilitating diseases like malaria, which were often worsened by high temperatures. However, air conditioning machines as we know them were not created and marketed until 1902 when Willis Haviland Carrier, also known as the Father of Modern Air Conditioning, invented the first electrical air conditioning unit.
Inspired by artificial ice’s ability to keep food at a safe temperature, Willis Haviland Carrier designed his machine to revolutionize the manufacturing process of a printing plant by creating the opportunity for control over the plant’s temperature and level of humidity. This allowed the plant’s employees to control important aspects of the printing process like paper size and ink alignment

Air Conditioners Hit the Market

Throughout the first few decades of the twentieth century, air conditioning technology continued to develop. Air conditioning machines were tested at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 and installed in movie theatres across the nation in the 1920s as the film industry boomed. In 1929, Frigidaire introduced a room cooler for home use, though it was expensive. In 1930, the White House installed air conditioning, greatly increasing national demand for the machines. By 1946, production reached 30,000 units, and in 1953, sales exceeded 1 million units, a huge milestone for air conditioning.
As technology continued to improve over time, the size and convenience of air conditioning machines also improved. In 1957, air conditioning units were made smaller and more efficient with the invention of the first ever rotary compressor. In 1977, the development of heat pump equipment made it possible for a single machine to provide heating and cooling for homes throughout the year.

A Vital Piece of Home Equipment, Wherever You Live

From the twentieth century and beyond, air conditioning technology continues to meet increasing power demands and improve the day-to-day lives of citizens nationwide. Looking for an air conditioner that suits your needs in Southern California? The new ones are much more energy efficient, even versus 10 years ago. Call Rowland Air today for a new energy efficient air conditioning system installation or inspecting/tuning up your current one.

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