The history of air conditioning

Here are some of the key milestones in the history of air conditioning…

Ancient Egypt

The idea behind air conditioning is reportedly as old as the Pyramids! The basic concept behind air conditioning is said to have been applied in ancient Egypt, where reeds were hung in windows and were moistened with trickling water. The evaporation of the water-cooled the air that was blowing through the window.

2nd Century – Ding Huan

Early forms of air conditioning have also been reported in China. The 2nd century Chinese inventor Ding Huan of the Han Dynasty invented a rotary fan for air conditioning. And, in 747, the Chinese Emperor had the Cool Hall built in the Imperial Palace, which had water-powered fan wheels for air conditioning as well as rising jet streams of water from fountains.

1902 – Willis Carrier

In 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning system. A skilled engineer, Carrier had begun experimenting with the laws of humidity in a quest to solve an application problem at a Brooklyn printing plant.

Based on the existing concepts of mechanical refrigeration, Carrier’s system sent air through coils filled with cold water, cooling the air whilst removing the moisture to control room humidity.

1933 – The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America

Then, in 1933, the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America developed an air conditioner that used a belt-driven condensing unit and associated blower, mechanical controls, and evaporator coil. This became the model in the growing US market for air-cooling systems and today’s systems operate on the same fundamental science.
1930s – The spread of air conditioning…

During the 1930s, air conditioning started to become more widespread and became more commonplace in department stores, trains, and offices – sending worker’s summer productivity soaring.