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How air conditioning was invented

Along with central heating, the air conditioner is the next best thing when it comes to temperature control. Believe it or not, air conditioning has been around for over 100 years and it certainly hasn’t gone out of fashion. This month, Air Conditioning Services (GB) Ltd are here to give you a simple rundown on the history of this everyday necessity that can be found in most homes and commercial buildings alike.

1758 – Benjamin Franklin and Cambridge University professor John Hadley came across the theory of ‘cooling air’ and to prove this concept, they managed multiple experiments. These experiments involved the process of evaporation and vaporous liquids such as alcohol (because it evaporates much quicker than water) to accomplish minus temperatures.

1820 – English scientist, Michael Faraday, famous for the Faraday shield that provides a barrier to electromagnetic fields, discovers the same ideology as Franklin and Hadley. This is: when ammonia is compacted and turned into a liquid, the process cools the air.   

1842 – Physician John Gorrie utilised a compression device to form ice, he then used this to cool the air and thus, his hospitalised patients. His intentions were to use this idea to then control the temperature of the whole building and patent the creation, but unfortunately he didn’t receive the financial backing he required to materialise his dream device.

1881 – After the attempt of an assassination, US President James Garfield, a quick cooling contraption is fabricated in order to help with Garfield’s recovery. How was this put together? Naval engineers filled a large crate with wet clothes and used a hot air fan to blow the warm upwards and thus, keep the cool air directed at Garfield. This idea dropped the room temperature by 20 degrees fahrenheit. Sadly this idea was far too expensive over the two month time period that it was used for.  

1902 – It was this year when the first ever air conditioning unit was created by Willis Carrier. This was then used to control both the temperature and humidity so that the Brooklyn company could continue to keep the dimensions of paper and alignment of ink consistent.  

1914 – In Minneapolis a mansion owner, Charles Gates, had the first ever air conditioning system installed in his home.

1931 – This was the year when H.H. Shultz and J.Q Sherman came up with a much smaller air conditioning device that could be placed on a window ledge.

1942 – Due to the increase in demand for power, the USA built a ‘summer peaking’ plant to cater for those that have obtained air conditioners throughout the country.

1950 – The post-World War II economic growth increases the sales of air conditioning to over 1 million units purchased across the USA.

1970 – Freon (R22 & R12) becomes the main refrigerant used in air conditioners.

1994 – It was this year when it came to common knowledge that Freon was in fact a huge hindrance on the ozone layer and was therefore banned widely across various countries. It has now been replaced by an environmentally friendly (Zero Ozone Depletion) refrigerant called R32.

Air Conditioning Services (GB) Ltd have a wealth of experience supplying and installing quality air conditioning units along with general maintenance and repairs. We have a fully trained team of experienced professionals that work throughout Ashbourne, Buxton, Derby, Sheffield, Rotherham and Chesterfield. If you would like to know more about what we do or wish schedule us in, please feel free to call us today!