HVAC is responsible for billions of people being able to remain comfortable in their homes and places of business. Still, it wasn’t always as easy as turning on your air conditioner. The history of HVAC started close to 80 years before the first unit was designed and manufactured.

Paving The Way For HVAC

Most people know about Willis Carrier, and his contributions to designing the first air conditioner, but he wasn’t the first person who tried creating a cooling system. So, who invented air conditioning? Wilis Carrier was the one that designed the first air conditioner, but back in 1840, John Gorrie was a medic that wanted to find some way to cool hospital rooms. He believed that patients would be able to fight off various diseases easier if the temperature in the room were lower.

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To test his theory, he used the ice from a lake near the hospital to help cool down hospital rooms. Although the system worked, it wasn’t able to be sustained once the ice melted on the lake, which meant that it worked excellently during the winter, but once the lake melted he didn’t have a large enough source of ice to continue using the system throughout the rest of the year.

After this, he decided to design a machine that would generate ice, but although he received a patent for his machine, he was never able to get it produced. However, the technology that he used in his machine was borrowed from some modern refrigeration and AC systems. Once electricity came into play, inventors were able to take the idea of a cooling system to the next level, which is where Willis Carrier became known as the “Father of the Air Conditioner”.

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The Father Of The Air Conditioner

80 years after Gorrie started working with ice as a cooling system, Willis Carrier invited the modern air conditioner that we know and still use today. He was an engineer at a Brooklyn printing plant, but he used his engineering skills to apply to his invention.

He recognized that humidity was a huge issue in plants all around, and so, it inspired his system that would send air through coils that were filled up with cold water. This would help to cool the air down while also removing moisture in the air, which would help with the humidity issues.

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Unlike other inventions that over time change drastically away from the original concept, today’s air conditioners still use the same fundamental science that Carrier used in his original AC model. However, new AC models have also incorporated different types of modern technological advances in controls, sensors, materials, and vapor compression that have made the models more effective and last longer. When looking at modern models, they look different, and they are when it comes to technology, but the basic concept is the same.

Latest Technologies When Working With HVAC

Just like with most devices, HVAC has advanced over the years, and manufacturers have started introducing smart technologies into their designs. Some of the newer technologies that are now being introduced into HVAC systems include but are not limited to:

  • Control kits for automating the air flow system
  • Microprocessor-based diagnostic features
  • Smart wall thermostats
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In the United States, approximately 80% of households have some sort of air conditioner system, and most of these are central units that help to cool the entire home from a single thermostat. The use of HVAC systems has helped homes and businesses to remain cool even in areas of the country that are known for their hot and humid climates.

Insights and Takeaways

HVAC has become a common commodity in many parts of the world. HVAC has also helped in many industries to make jobs easier. For instance, keeping hospital rooms cooler with HVAC helps the spread of some diseases, and HVAC can help to keep factory workers from overheating while doing their jobs.

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Many people consider HVAC a luxury, but in many situations, it can be classified as a necessity. HVAC is a prime example of how technology has advanced over the years, and it is an important system for billions of people all over the world.


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