A Back to School Air Conditioning Lesson

School bus at bus stop

Harford County schools will be back in session after Labor Day, so we thought it would be a great time for a back to school lesson on the history of air conditioning and how it works!

A Brief History on Air Conditioning

In 1902 Willis Carrier invented a machine that blew air over cold coils to control room temperature and humidity, mainly for keeping paper from getting wrinkled. Carrier established his own business called Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America.

In 1906 Stuart Cramer created a ventilating device called an “air conditioner” that added water vapor to the air of textile plants, the purpose being that humidity made yarn not as likely to break and easier to spin.

In 1914 an air conditioner was installed in Charles Gates’ Minneapolis mansion. It was 7 feet high, 6 feet wide, and 20 feet long. Gates died before the home was completed.

In 1931 H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman invent the window unit, only affordable to the very wealthy.

In 1942 The first “summer peaking” power plant was built to handle the electrical load of air conditioning.

In the 1950’s economic boom, more residents were able to afford air conditioning in their homes.

In the 1970s Central air conditioning was invented, consisting of a condenser, coils, and a fan and started to replace window units.

How Central Air Conditioning Works

The indoor handling system (or evaporator) absorbs heat from the room, and the compressor pumps refrigerant to condenser coils, which release the heat outside. If this is confusing, let’s take a look at how each component works.

  • The evaporator coil, located indoors, is where liquid refrigerant gets depressurized and evaporates, turning into a cold gas that absorbs heat.
  • The compressor, located outdoors, is where refrigerant vapor gets pressurized and changes into a hot liquid as it makes its way to the condenser coils.
  • The hot high-pressure liquid from the compressor goes through the condenser, which is made up of many coils. This allows plenty of time for s the gas to flow while a large high-power fan blows over the coils. After the fan cools the refrigerant, it goes back to the evaporator to start the process again.
  • Insulated tubing connects the refrigerant to all of the major air conditioning components.

Need to Know More About Air Conditioning? Just Ask One Hour Heating and Air in Aberdeen!

You’ll learn a lot this school year as you go through your kids’ homework, but chances are you won’t find much HVAC information! So if you have any questions or notice any problems with your air conditioning, be sure to give us a call!