History of Air Conditioners
Air Conditioning mans the treatment of air so as to control its temperature, cleanliness, moisture content, circulation and odor simultaneously. The idea of air conditioning as well as refrigeration, evolved with time due to the ever growing need of human for food and comfort.
During those early times
It was in the 19th century that the idea of air conditioning first started taking roots. Dr. John Gorrie, an American physician in Florida made an ice-making machine that used to blow air over a bucket of ice to cool the room of patients suffering from yellow fever and malaria. There is also a record of naval engineers making a box like structure containing clothes soaked with melted ice water with a fan overhead blowing air. Although the contraption was successful in lowering the temperature of the room by about 20 degrees, about half a million pounds of ice were used in two months’ time.
One Brooklyn printing plant made use of a new air conditioning machine keep the environment stable and free of any fluctuations in the heat and humidity in 1902. This is perhaps the close resemblance to the modern air conditioner. The desired humidity level was adjustable, and the apparatus was made with enough precision. American engineer, Willis Carrier was the man behind these early models of air conditioner.
The first home with ac
The invention by Carrier was highly successful, and demand for the air conditioners began to grow. The first buildings to install these were pharmaceutical manufacturers, printing plants, few hospitals, and the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Charles Gates, son of gambler John “Bet a Million” Gate was the first person to have an air-conditioned home in 1914. These air conditioner units from Carrier were large as well as dangerous and expensive due to the use of toxic ammonia in them as the coolant.
There were two breakthroughs made by the Carrier in 1922. First the ammonia was replaced by benign coolant dielene and a compressor was added to reduce the size of the unit. The next progress was made when Carrier sold his innovation to movie-theater operators. In 1925, Rivoli on Broadway in New York City installed the first air conditioners.
Within no time, the demand grew and soon one could see the air conditioners appearing in department stores, office buildings and railroad cars. In 1928, air conditioners were installed in the United States House of Representatives, soon followed by White House and Supreme Court. The sales escalated in large numbers in the coming years.
The comfort applications
Air conditioning makes it possible to design deep plan buildings and allows the buildings to be taller. Other wise the deeper building would have to be built with narrower walls so as to receive sufficient outdoor air via natural ventilation. As the wind speed rises significantly with altitude, natural ventilation would have been impractical.
Comfort applications of the air conditioners may be different for different building types. There are requirements in low-rise residential buildings such as duplexes, family houses and small apartment buildings. Tall dormitories and apartment blocks too have an urgent need of the ac’s. Use of the air conditioners is fast growing in Institutional buildings and industrial areas. Recently, sports stadiums are being built with air conditioning. They have become a necessity in the hospitals.
Along with the rising demand and use of the air conditioners on different kinds and levels of buildings, air conditioning is finding greater use in different transportation such as trains, aircraft, vehicles, spacecraft etc.
Portable air conditioner
A portable air conditioner can be transported form one location to another on wheels. One can move it easily inside a home or office. Available with different capacities and with and without electric-resistance heaters, these air conditioners are either refrigerative or evaporative. You will find them available in two forms, split and hose. These units dehumidify the air while cooling it at the same time. These systems have an indoor unit on wheels that are connected to the outdoor unit with the help of flexible pipes.
The research on refrigeration equipment and air conditioning is a multiyear, million dollar project that is on for the 21st Century. The main aim is to lower the energy usage while improving the quality of indoor air.
Q&A part about the History of Air Conditioners
What is the purpose for the first Air Conditioner invented by Willis Havilland Carrier in 1902?
For a Brooklyn printing press. Fluctuations in heat and humidity had caused the dimensions of the printing paper to keep altering slightly. This was enough to cause a misalignment of the colored inks. The new air conditioning machine created a stable environment and aligned four-color printing became possible.
Who invented the first auto air conditioner?
The 3 Goldberg brothers, Norman, Hyman and Max invented and developed the first automobile air-conditioner. On july 17 the, 1946, the temperature in detroit was 97. The 3 brothers walked into old man henry ford’s office and sweet-talked his secretary into telling him that 3 gentlemen were there with the most exciting innovation in the auto industry since the electric starter.
Henry was curious and invited them into his office. They refused and instead asked that he come out to the parking lot to their car. They persuaded him to get into the car which was about 130 – turned on the air-conditioner and cooled the car off immediately. The old man got very excited and invited them back to the office, where he offered them 3 million dollars for the patent.
The brothers refused saying they would settle for 2 million but they wanted the recognition by having a label “The Goldberg air-conditioner” on the dashboard of each car that it was installed in. They haggled back and forth for about 2 hours and finally agreed on 4 million dollars and that just their first names would be shown. And so, even today, all ford air-conditioners show on the controls, the names: “Norm, Hi, & Max”