CLEVELAND, OH — Summer is officially here and for most of us, it’s hard to imagine beating the heat without air conditioning. We move from our air conditioned houses to our air conditioned cars to air conditioned places of work. In between, we go from one air conditioned building to another: stores, places of worship, medical buildings, office buildings, etc. And most of us take the cool air for granted.
Here are five facts about air conditioning you probably not know.
1. The first air conditioner wasn’t designed for comfort. Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioner in 1902 for a publishing company in Brooklyn. It kept the temperature and humidity low so the paper didn’t expand and contract. Carrier never intended his machine to be used merely for comfort.
2. AC gave way to summer blockbusters. Movie theaters were among the first places most people encountered artificially cooled air. In fact, theaters would advertise their “Refrigerated Air.” Moviemakers released their big pictures during the summer because people sought out the air-conditioned buildings to escape the heat.
3. Your kids should be especially grateful for AC. Although summer vacation started out as a way to escape the heat, schools kept up the practice even after gaining air conditioning.
4. Even the government would shut down during parts of the summer. Before central air conditioning, the government took a summer vacation along with school. In fact, some historians blame the growth of federal bureaucracy on air-conditioning, since it allowed lawmakers to stay in session longer.
5. Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without AC. Before air conditioning, the Northeast was the nation’s economic powerhouse. Population explosions in places like Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and Texas can be directly attributed to the introduction of air-conditioning.
Source: www.hvacrbusiness.com; June 24, 2013.