Hey hey, Texas! It’s that time of year again. Sparklers, cookouts, sprinklers, and a cool, air-conditioned house. But, it wasn’t always that way. We sometimes take for granted how awesome it is to be able to flip a switch and stop the sweat! They say we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us, who paved they way for the comforts and freedoms we enjoy today. Well, that’s certainly true in the world of HVAC! While today, almost 75 percent of U.S. homes have air conditioning, it wasn’t so cool for our predecessors. In the spirit of celebrating the birth of our great nation, Medley Heating and Air-Conditioning presents: A brief history of modern HVAC.
Let us introduce to you the “Father of HVAC as we know it”, Willis Haviland Carrier. Carrier was an American (what what!) engineer, born in 1876, and a graduate of Cornell University. You could say that Carrier stumbled upon his invention by accident. He’d been hired by Brooklyn’s Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographic and Publishing Company, whose output was threatened by the East Coast humidity. Their pages were getting all damp, and their ink was running rampant in the steamy Summer air. Production all but halted. Morale was down. So, Carrier created a system to reduce humidity around the machines using an industrial fan that blew air over steam coils filled with cold water. When the humidity condensed on the coils, it resulted in dry, cooled air. Remember that old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial where the chocolate just “falls” into the peanut butter? It was kind of like that. The system didn’t just dry/cool the paper, it dried/cooled the employees, too! Production and morale were back up and running!
Carrier submitted drawings of his invention that would become the first modern air-conditioning system. The new air-conditioning system standards he created recognized that true A/C needed to control temperature, humidity, air circulation and ventilation, in addition to cleansing the air. The HVAC solutions at Medley still uphold those standards today!
The household HVAC system wouldn’t become a staple in the American home until the post-war boom of the 1950’s (even after Carrier’s “igloo” product demo at the 1939 New York World’s Fair) as events like World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II all took precedence. But, American life was revolutionized by the increase in year ‘round industry and the advancements in climate control were a big factor in the great migration to the Sunbelt!
You can get a look at Carrier’s first practical centrifugal refrigeration compressor from 1922 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History! Road trip! Or, you can give us a call at Medley at (972) 449-4834 (or visit our website at www.callmedley.com) and we’ll bring the most updated version of Carrier’s vision to you!
Medley Home Services helps the Carrollton, Coppell, Lewisville, Farmers Branch, Plano, Flower Mound, Allen, Highland Village, and Frisco areas keep their HVAC systems performing at top level, as well as find and implement the most effective IAQ solutions to keep families, friends and fur babies breathing clean, safe air.
Happy Birthday and stay cool, America!