A brief history of air conditioning

These days most of us see air conditioning as a necessity more than a luxury. It’s a feature that helps make our everyday lives more comfortable, more practical, and more productive.

But that wasn’t always the case. Up until 1902, the idea of cooling an area for comfort was a figment of pure imagination.

Here’s a brief history of air conditioning and how it’s changed the world.

The beginnings

It’s hard to believe that until the turn of last century air conditioning simply didn’t exist, and for a long time after that it was only applied to commercial premises or considered a true luxury item.

Air conditioning dates back to 1902, when US inventor Willis Carrier invented the first electrical air conditioner.

His creation was designed for the printing industry, in a bid to make the printing process more efficient and accurate by controlling the temperature and humidity of the plant.

At this stage it wasn’t even called air conditioning. That termed coined in 1906 by a gentleman named Stuart W Cramer.

Initial air conditioners were crude, relying on flammable and toxic gases like ammonia, propane and methyl chloride, and it wasn’t until safer refrigerants were utilised that air conditioners began to really enter homes.

Still, the first air conditioned house was constructed in 1914 in Minneapolis, while the idea of ducted air conditioning also began to emerge around this time.

Domestic air conditioning and The White House

In 1928 Thomas Midgley discovered Freon, which led to the rise of better, safer refrigerants that could be applied to domestic air conditioning.

In fact, the White House was one of the earliest major buildings to embrace air conditioning with a system installed in 1930.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t until after WWII that domestic use of air conditioners really began to rise in Australia and the USA.

Demand for this new must-have home item kept increasing from there while the technology behind it shifted to more compact, more environmentally friendly cooling methods.

Modern Australia and air conditioning

By 2014, an estimated three in four Australian households featured air conditioning. This was a rapid rise on just 20 years prior, effectively doubling the rate of air conditioner ownership in the late 1990s.

This increase in installation was due in part to air conditioning becoming more affordable, but also due to features that are more environmentally friendly, compact and reliable.

Now of course, air conditioners boast additional features like smart controls, automation, air quality control and so much more.

And rather than a luxury, air conditioners are now considered a necessity, while the systems available range from ducted climate control to split systems, and evaporative cooling.

About Climacool

Servicing the greater Sydney region, Climacool Air Conditioning prides itself on superior service and quality workmanship.

We work with the leading brands in the field of heating and cooling, and have an enviable reputation for meeting the needs of our valued commercial clientele in air conditioning installation, service, and repairs.

You can learn more about our commercial services here, or contact us directly for assistance in selecting, installing and maintaining the right air conditioning system for your business.