HVAC Technology / December 16, 2013

The History of HVAC: Air Conditioning

Many people think of your home’s HVAC systems as a new age invention reliant on modern electrical systems to function properly. Although the modern, high efficiency systems that keep your home cool all Summer long are relatively new in terms of technology, you’d be shocked to learn the origin of the first time that cooled air was created through a man-made mechanism. One of the most famous Americans, Benjamin Franklin, along with Cambridge University professor John Hadley discovered that the evaporation of alcohol and other volatile liquids could cool water down enough to freeze it in the year 1758!

Modern Applications of HVAC Technology

It wasn’t until the 1830s when HVAC technology evolved into real world application. A doctor in a Florida hospital, John Gorrie, compressed water to make buckets of ice which he then blew air over to cool down the hospital rooms. His idea went as far as being patented in 1851 but he lacked the funding to turn the idea into a commercial success. Between the time of his invention and 1914, makeshift air conditioning systems were created in a multitude of forms and even used to cool President Garfield after the infamous assassination attempt.

HVAC Technology Moves Into Homes

In 1914, a Minneapolis mansion owned by Charles Gates had the first known residential air conditioning system installed in it. It was 7 feet high, 6 feet wide and 20 feet long! Fortunately, by the early 1930’s, the window air conditioning unit started to be used in homes which greatly reduced the size of the technology. Unfortunately, only the very wealthy could afford these systems. They often cost between $10,000 and $50,000 USD which converts directly to the vicinity of $120,000 to $600,000 today!

Modern HVAC: Comfort at the Right Price

In only a few short decades after the 1930’s, air conditioning HVAC systems became more and more common and as is with most technology, they became significantly cheaper too! Today, high efficiency systems could cost a mere fraction of what a system cost even just a few decades ago when considered for inflation. Fortunately for us, we can enjoy our cool Summers for the right price!

Mauzy Knowledge

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