The History of Air Conditioning
When the heat gets a little too hot for us to handle, we always look for ways to cool down. Whether it's turning up the AC in the car, at home, or at work, we are always looking for a way to get comfortable during those warm days.
As you may have guessed, air conditioning did not always exist. How did people back in the day try to cool down? It is said that during one summer, Roman Emperor Elagabalus sent 1,000 slaves to the mountains to gather snow for his gardens. Imagine having to travel all the way to the mountains for comfort?
Thankfully, we don't have to do that anymore.
In 1902, a 25-year old engineer named Willis Carrier created the first functioning machine that would be known as an air conditioning unit. He used coils to cool and remove moisture from the air. However, he did not create this for human comfort; he created this machine to lessen the humidity in the air at the printing plant he worked for so that the pages wouldn't wrinkle.
In 1917, the first home unit was made, and it was as big as early computers (and if you aren't sure how big those computers were, they basically took up an entire room). These units were too large, noisy and packed with chemicals and did not become widespread as we know them to be now for many decades.
With advancements in technology in the 1930s, window air conditioners were created, but remained a coveted comfort. People generally felt the artificial cooling comfort of this machine while in movie theaters, unless they were lucky enough to stay in a luxurious hotel or had a car with a cooling system.
Air conditioning was known as a luxury, and became important primarily in regards to worker productivity. Bosses had the mindset that if their workers were in a comfortable environment, their productivity increased, and they were right! Employees who were transferred to a cooled office increased their output by a whopping 24%. Air conditioning is still an important factor in office efficiency.
In today's world, it is hard to think of not being able to turn on an air conditioner when we feel uncomfortable. There are many more hot summer nights and days ahead, and without our cooling systems, many of us would not be able to truly function properly. Air condition is no loner just a luxury, it is truly a human need.
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