Air Conditioning Systems - A Long History

The History of Modern Air Conditioning SystemsAir Conditioning Systems

With temperatures rising steadily by the hour, you may begin to ponder the history of modern air conditioning systems, that is, if your brain hasn't yet begun to boil. This is a brief tale of the surprisingly long history of air conditioning systems. Read ahead to travel back in time!

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Chinese Hand Fans

In the Han Dynasty, the second imperial dynasty in China, dates back to 206 BCE. During this second century an inventor and artisan named Ding Huan invented the very first rotary fan with seven wheels. Of course, this was manually powered and not the most care-free of air conditioning systems for the human battery in charge. However, things got better some 500 years yonder with the Emperor Xuanzong who enjoyed this rotary fan now powered by hydraulics. This water-powered fan was just the first of other H2O inspired air conditioning systems to follow.

Roman Ingenuity

We can thank the ancient Roman empire for bringing us the arch, the aqueduct, and - less known - the air conditioner. At least, it was the Romans who started the concept of the air conditioner. Wealthy Roman citizens utilized those brilliant aqueducts to make admirable attempts at indoor climate control. They did this by circulating cool water through the walls of their grand villas.

Despite the delightful climate of Mediterranean spots, many other Romans had to suffer through terrible domes of heat much like the America's mid-west. Fresh aqua pura from the hundreds of miles worth of aqueducts would be piped through select wealthy households, thus cooling the brickwork and lowering indoor temperatures. This air conditioning system, unfortunately, was painfully inefficient as well as expensive to achieve - much like today's electricity guzzlers. You can see why the trend did not continue, plus there was that whole thing to do with the empire's fall.

Dark and Hot

During the Dark Ages which followed it may not have been as bright as the fiery pits of Hell, but it sure felt like it. Ingenuity and inventing came to a standstill and not another thought was given towards an air conditioning system until much later.

Wind Towers of Arabia

Like the Romans, architects in the Middle East realized that utilizing a building's structure was a key element to cooling down. Specific structures called wind towers were built some 500 year ago with specially crafted windows. The windows would capture prevailing wind, using internal vans to channel cooler air into lower sections that housed people. Warm air was also ingeniously sucked out, much like today's window fans or window air conditioners.

Wind towers function as eco-friendly, all-natural air conditioning systems that are still in use today in modern cities as Dubai. These score points for aesthetic beauty and zero environmental impact!

American Muscle

Modern air conditioning systems began to sprout back up in western culture around the Victorian age. With money, brains, and ambitions for cooler days the Americans got back to the drawing board. It is noted that James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, enjoyed the cooling sensation of what is essentially a home-made evaporative cooler. Bed sheets, having been saturated with ice water, were strung up while air was blown through them - a high price to pay at a quarter of a million pounds of ice per month!

In the early 20th century electricity was discovered and the air conditioning system was finally allowed a platform to perform on; one that wasn't horribly cost-ineffective or inconvenient. The first modern air conditioning system was invented by Willis Carrier of New York in 1902. This young man engineered the centrifugal chiller and the American public met the grandfather of modern air conditioners Memorial Day weekend 1925 - at the height of sweltering summer heat - at the Rivoli Theater in New York.

Thus, the American past time of visiting a cheap flick during hot, humid weekends was born. Mr. Carrier's air conditioning system brought about an increase in American productivity as warehouses, factories, and every other aspect of modern life took a chilling turn - for the better, of course - and things have, thankfully, never been the same!

Burning up? Take a look at these great air conditioning systems for your home!