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The Most Influential Figures in the History of the Air Conditioner

Air conditioning has evolved substantially over the last hundred years or so since the date where it was “invented.” However, the technology has evolved and advanced thanks to the work of several influential figures who have all contributed to this technology as we know it today. On this blog, we’ll take a look at four influential figures found throughout the history of the air conditioner and what they did to contribute to modern home comfort that we’re privileged to enjoy today.

The Ancient Greeks & Chinese

People have been searching for better ways to heat their home as long as man has walked the earth. Winter is a tough time to survive, and everyone has found new, creative ways to stay warm. The ancient Greeks and Chinese were perhaps the most creative, however, as they found ways of running hot air through tubes in order to heat homes during winter seasons. Essentially, they ran smoke and hot air through chimneys and flues, which heated the home but didn’t fill it with harmful smoke, thus making for an even heat. It was this technology which became the basis for our modern air duct technology. While these ancient air ducts were more of a radiator than an air carrier, the principle of moving conditioned air along a tube is something we still use today.

Nikola Tesla

The modern air conditioner owes a great deal of credit for its existence to one of the greatest inventors in American history: Nikola Tesla. Tesla invented the oscillating electric fan which is used to push air around. Today, the modern air conditioner depends on at least two of these fans to facilitate the heat transfer in your coils. They’re also used for everything from keeping your electronic appliances cool to keeping your car cool to even making your rooms feel cool when you’re not running your air conditioner. In fact, the electric fan just might be up there on the list of the greatest inventions of the 19th century!

Willis Carrier

Willis Carrier is known as the father of the modern air conditioner because it was his ingenuity that led to the breakthrough and the first “air conditioner” as we know it today. While his system was a far cry from what we have now in terms of efficiency, the cooling principle was essentially the same. It was his idea to use water vapor and the principle of evaporative cooling to not only precisely control the humidity in the air, but to regulate the temperature as well. His invention caught on and spread like wildfire, and today Carrier continues to be one of the leading names in air conditioning manufacturing and technological advancement—a legacy its founder would be proud of.

Thomas Midgley, Jr.

Thomas Midgley, Jr. might be the most unheralded of the influential figures in the history of air conditioning, particularly modern air conditioning. A mechanical and chemical engineer, he played a huge role in the development of leaded gasoline as his major claim to fame. However, it was his work with a new substance known as a “chlorofluorocarbon” that made leaps forward in air conditioning technology. These products could absorb and dispel heat quickly and effectively, making them the ideal solution for a fluid that could facilitate heat transfer needed in the refrigerant cycle. Thanks to his work, we have modern air conditioners that are extremely efficient at cooling our homes.

Do you need your air conditioner serviced? Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC at (561) 270-6181 today and let our Palm Beach County HVAC professionals handle the issue for you!

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