For many, air conditioning is a basic necessity, without which we cannot imagine life. But did you know that the air conditioner is actually the little hero responsible for revolutionizing many aspects of our modern life, including innovating modern medicine and transforming the way we build our homes?
Believe it or not, the history of air conditioning can actually be very interesting. Here are five interesting facts about the history of air conditioners that will change the way you think about them.
Facts About Air Conditioners
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1: Conditioners were originally invented to dry ink
Did you know that the very first air conditioner was invented by a man named Willis Carrier to deal with a humidity problem at a New York publisher? Imagine the hustle and bustle of the lithographic publishing house Sackett-Wilhelms in 1902: heat and humidity created chaos in the printing process. The paint flowed, spreading over the paper, which expanded and contracted in the musty air.
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A giant machine, which he called an “air purifier,” solved these problems by using cooling coils to achieve a constant indoor humidity level. These bulky air conditioners were quickly adopted in large buildings that could afford them, such as hotels, textiles and hospitals.
While Carrier’s bulky invention was not entirely safe (it used ammonia, a toxic chemical as a refrigerant), it laid the foundation for the much safer, more compact, and efficient air conditioners we use today.
2: Air Conditioners Have Dramatically Increased Human Life Span
The invention of the air conditioner had a significant impact on human life expectancy. How? Simply put, many of the drugs in use today simply would not have been invented without a scientific laboratory equipped with temperature-sensitive instruments and equipment, as well as the ability to monitor air temperature.
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Air conditioners have become the source of world-renowned medical advances, from drugs that kill bacteria, reduce infant mortality and fight malaria, to drugs for cancer and the common cold, and innovate in surgery. Some diseases would never be defeated without air conditioning!
3: air conditioners have changed the idea of architecture
What were architects up to before air conditioning became widespread? They designed the buildings to provide maximum air circulation. High ceilings, verandas, and landscaping were added to provide shade.
The ability to control indoor climate with air conditioning has revolutionized the design and construction of buildings, allowing us to build glass skyscrapers and low-rise buildings.
4: Summer Blockbusters Are Thanks To Air Conditioning
Do you love to escape the summer heat and watch a movie on the big screen? In the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, movie theater owners realized that installing air conditioners was the best way to fill cinemas on the hottest days of the year. Since most people didn’t have air conditioning at home, they flocked to movie theaters to sample popcorn, watch a movie, and enjoy the luxury of free air conditioning.
To capitalize on this trend, film studios began releasing their best films in the summer, hence the term “summer blockbusters”. This practice is still relevant today.
5: Conditioners May Help Reduce Allergies And Asthma
Air conditioners can reduce allergy symptoms in the spring by removing pollen, dust mites, and other small particles from the air. The built-in filter of the air conditioner can purify the air for people with allergies or asthma. If your allergies get worse with the onset of hot weather, air conditioning can help relieve sneezing attacks.