It’s hard to imagine summers without air conditioning, especially with the recent climate changes. People need something to resist the scorching heat, and air conditions have been their faithful servants for so many years that they are often taken for granted, especially when it comes to potentially harmful effects of those devices. However, one thing has to be admitted – they are used primarily to cool us off during summer heat, and they duly deliver, they serve their intended purpose gracefully. However, people don’t seem to know many things about air conditioning. For example, it is being talked about as a relatively new thing that was brought to existence only a few decades ago. The truth is, the history of air conditioning is much older than that, with the first electrical air conditioning being produced back in 1902. Still, this article is more interested in air conditioning as a home service, so let’s take a quick look at the history books about that.
It didn’t take long after the invention of the electrical air conditioning that people wanted to take the new technology even further. “The godfather” who thought of the term “air conditioning” was Stuart Cramer, a textile businessman from Charlotte, North Carolina, who wanted to add moisture to the air in his factory, in order to control the humidity (which was a necessity there). As for the term, he was inspired by the famous process of water conditioning, then a regular thing at his plant. The first one to add the term to the name of his company was Willis Carrier. After a few years only, a man named Charles Gates built the first private home to have air conditioning in the world (Minneapolis, 1914). David St. Pierre DuBose realized intuitively that before long, air conditioning will be an everyday feature of every house, particularly in the areas with hotter climate, so he equipped his building for central air conditioning (it is believed to be the first one) by designing an intricate network of ductwork and vents. As for the first portable air conditioner that was able to cool, heat, filter the air and control the humidity completely, it was designed by Robert Sherman of Lynn, Massachusetts in 1945, and patented in January 1946.
During the 1950’s air conditioning has become increasingly common in the houses, and today it is hard to imagine a house or an apartment without one. Over the years, they have added a few new functions and a couple of new installation systems to their arsenal, but the basic purpose and application remain the same. They can now be adapted to any space, any users’ needs, they come in all sizes, shapes and colors, but the primary aim has never changed. The engineers tend to divide all the air conditioning applications into comfort and process ones. Comfort applications are generally used in indoor environments, commercial and high-rise buildings, industrial and institutional buildings, stadiums, or different types of vehicles, such as cars or boats. Process applications, on the other hand, usually provide the atmosphere for carrying out different processes, whose needs actually determine the conditions, without the interference of the human factor. Some of the examples are laboratories, nuclear testing facilities, food processing areas, cleanrooms, operating rooms in hospitals, industrial environments, etc.