110 Years of Air Conditioning: A History

Although most homes have some type of air conditioner, that hasn’t always been true. To celebrate the 110th anniversary of air conditioning, we would like to share some interesting facts on the history of air conditioning.

The very first experiments with cooling air date back to 1758 when Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley, a Cambridge University professor, discovered that alcohol evaporates faster than water.

Due to this discovery, from 1758 to 1900, many inventors and researchers experimented with various ways to create cooled air. They created ice machines that used compression to make ice and they also made cooling boxes soaked in water that used fans to lower air temperature.

But it wouldn’t be until 1902 that an air conditioner started to take place. In this year, Willis Carrier invented a machine that could control temperature and humidity in the air. Many New York publishing companies purchased the machine because it kept paper from wrinkling and ink from bleeding. With these purchases, Willis Carrier launched Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America (what would later become the manufacturing company you know and recognize today).

Over the next 20 years, improvements and advancements were made to this basic air conditioning system. But it wouldn’t be until 1931 when the first room air conditioner was introduced in America. It was a rather large, bulky unit that rested on a home’s window ledge, much like the window units we see on the market today. However, this unit was really available to the wealthy because of its high cost of $10,000 to $50,000 for each unit.

By 1953, however, air conditioners were in demand due to lowered prices and better technology, and over one million units were sold in America. Then, with even more technological advances, central air conditioning was invented and became available in the 1970s. This invention led the way for the present-day air conditioning units that we enjoy in our homes today.

As summer heat arrives this year, let Bigham’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning ensure that you have cool air for your family’s comfort. We can provide professional AC repair, maintenance, and installation services for all of your Santa Rosa air conditioning needs. Give us a call at 877-894-2577.