Ever wondered about the history of air conditioning? Then these facts might interest you. Established in 1959, we’ve seen how the air conditioner has evolved and become part of most homes in Tucson, AZ. With over 60 years of experience, Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing continues to serve homeowners throughout the Tucson area. We’re proud winners of the Angie’s List Super Service Award plus many others, so when you need quality service and detailed care you can trust for an AC installation, turn to our team.
1. Willis Carrier Invented the Modern Air Conditioning Unit in 1902
Willis Carrier was looking to solve a process control problem at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn when he filed a patent for the modern air conditioning unit. Carrier was an inventor, and he created his device to control temperature and humidity inside the plant. This allowed the company to maintain its paper dimensions through their processing and helped reduce issues with their ink alignment. The machine began working for the first time on July 17th, 1902.
2. Movie Theaters & Air Conditioning Have Always Gone Together
Have you ever walked outside on a hot summer day and wanted to go to the movies to cool down? You are not alone. Movie theaters were among the first businesses to utilize air conditioning for their patrons near the start of the 20th century. People would flock to the movie theaters to cool off, and many theaters made the “refrigerated air” part of their marketing. Because more people would attend the movie theaters during the hotter days of summer, theaters started to implement summer blockbusters to keep people entertained.
3. Air Conditioners Serve Multiple Purposes
Many people think that air conditioning units are just for cooling down the air in their home or commercial building, but this is not the case. Air conditioning units were initially invented to maintain control over the humidity levels in a space, and they still do that to this day. Air conditioners take in the hot air of the room and pass it through its system, blowing out cool air and retaining the moisture droplets from the warm air.
In fact, if you set your thermostat fan to “on,” it will blow air out even when the cooling system is not running, which means that the moisture will be blown back into the house. That is why it’s important to set your fan position to “auto.” This way, it only blows when the air conditioning is on.
4. The First Air-Conditioned Car Wasn’t Popular
While you might think that the addition of an air conditioning unit to a car would’ve been a game-changer at the time of its release, it actually didn’t sell very well. The automobile was made by the company Packard in 1939, and it was simply impractical for its time. First, the size of the evaporator and blower system took up half of the entire trunk, which meant that not only was it bulky but also heavy. The car was also incredibly expensive, which meant that, sadly, this first iteration was not the hit that its creators expected it to be.
5. Air Conditioning Has Saved Lives
It’s no surprise to anyone living in a hot and arid climate like Tucson that air conditioning can seem like a welcome relief on summer days. It is hard to picture a time when air conditioning wasn’t readily available in nearly any place you went, but that time was not so long ago. Before air conditioning, people frequently suffered from heatstroke and other heat-related symptoms if exposed to intense heat. Now, with air conditioning in many homes across the nation, the rate of death on hot summer days has fallen more than 80% over the last fifty years. The research team responsible for these figures stated that it was all to do with the rise of the air conditioner.
6. Air Conditioning Used to Cost Much More
Given how expensive an air-conditioned car was, it should be no surprise that air conditioner units for the home were also very pricey. In the 1940s, it could have cost you around $350 to buy an air conditioning unit. To put that into perspective, the average income across all industries in the year 1940 was $1,315. That would be just over a quarter of your salary to buy an air conditioning unit. In today’s terms, that would be like spending almost $18,000 with a salary of $59,000. Thankfully, the advent of faster manufacturing processes and the development of technology has vastly reduced the price of the modern air conditioning unit.
7. The First Air-Conditioned Home Was a Mansion
It makes sense, thinking about how costly air conditioning units used to be, that the first home to have an air conditioner was actually a mansion. The home was owned by Charles Gates, and it was located in Minneapolis, MN. Gates had the unit installed in 1913, but he passed away before he even got to experience it himself.
8. Herbert Hoover Was the First President to Have Air Conditioning
President Hoover was in office from 1929 to 1933, and he had the good fortune of being the first president to get to have air conditioning in the White House. He had it installed in the oval office just after the start of the Great Depression and spent $30,000 to make it happen.
9. Most Homes in the US Have Air Conditioning
Air conditioning is something that many American families take for granted in their own homes and across many businesses. However, not all countries follow this tradition. While 88% of new single-family homes that were built in 2011 had air conditioning included, Canada, by comparison, only had 55% in 2013. This makes sense when you consider how much cooler it is in Canada.
10. Electric Fans Came Before Air Conditioning
Before air conditioning came along, electric fans were all the rage. Unlike air conditioning, however, they do not actually cool the air. What they do is produce a breeze that creates an effect called the “wind chill effect.” This causes the sweat to evaporate from your skin and thereby lowers your body temperature. Electric fans are still used today, but they do not have the same impact that air conditioning has on the American consumer.
Contact Rite Way Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing Today
Are you looking for someone to service your heating, cooling, or plumbing system in Tucson? We have the expertise and training to make sure that your system is running in top shape. We are a fully licensed and insured business, and we can handle any repairs, installations, or maintenance questions you may have. We also offer heating and plumbing services as well.
Call us today to learn more about how we can help you choose and install the right air conditioner for your home.