History of Air Conditioning – Part 1

air conditoningFor many, it’s hard to imagine living without air conditioning, let alone air conditioning repair and maintenance. Because of presettings on our home’s and even our car’s thermostat, we hardly think about other means of staying cool, and when we have to deal with the heat, we often find it hard to bear.

Cooling Methods before AC

I think sometimes we assume that our ancestors in prehistoric times weren’t bothered by the heat as much as we are, but that is not the case. The Egyptians used reeds moistened with cool water hung in their windows; air would blow through the reeds and be cooled. The Romans circulated water from aqueducts through walls of wealthy homes as a means of cooling. The Persians used a similar method and Ding Huan in the 2nd century invented a fan powered by prisoners and a century later Emperor Xuanzong upgraded the system with water-powered fans and utilized jet streams from fountains.


Even Benjamin Franklin experimented with the concept of using evaporation to cool objects Franklin and John Hadley, a chemistry professor at Cambridge, found that evaporation of highly volatile liquids could cool objects below 32 degrees. Others continued to experiment with cooling by compression, alternative cooling and ice making techniques, furthering technology, and again, showing that inventions are built upon the effort of others who have gone and investigated before.

Dr. John Gorrie suggested that the spread of many diseases could be avoided if the temperature in Florida hospitals were kept lower. Gorrie began to have ice shipped to Florida, but found this impractical and expensive; to alleviate the temperatures, Gorrie invented a machine that created ice by compression, powered by horse, water, wind-driven sails, or steam. Gorrie’s machine lead the way towards air conditioning we have today.

Contact Us

We at North Central Florida Air Conditioning, Inc would love to answer any of your questions you may have about air conditioning repair, installation, or maintenance. Contact Us and read more about the history of AC next week!

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