The History Of The Air Conditioner


It’s amazing when you think of all the modern amenities that we enjoy, and it becomes very interesting when you look back at the history of these amenities.  One such amenity is the air conditioner.  What would we do without our AC.?  If you think about it, no matter where we go, we get to enjoy air conditioning.  Whether it is in our home, in our car, in our favorite department stores, restaurants, you name it, it’s there.  In this article I am going to be covering the history behind air conditioning.

Where Air Conditioning Began

While technology has certainly evolved and changed over the course of history, the desire to want to “cool off” on a hot day has not.  Air conditioning tactics have been found in ancient Egypt, where people would hang reeds from their windows, let water run down the reeds, and as the wind blew on the water on the reeds, the air would be cooled.

Amazingly, the very first rotary fan was invented in the 2nd century by the Chinese.  It was manually powered at first, but it later became water-powered and was enjoyed by many people of royalty.

Where Air Conditioning is Now

The first modern air conditioner was created in 1902.  With the idea of heating objects with steam already being a widely used technology, the idea of sending air over cold coils became a notion of interest.  This process not only helps to control the temperature of an area but humidity as well.  Thus, the modern air conditioner was born.

Problems with Early Air Conditioning

While the popularity of this new technology was rising, there were some major challenges and concerns associated with it.  One of the main ones’ was the use of deadly chemicals needed to make these things work.  Chemicals like ammonia, methyl chloride, and propane led to some fatalities when these new machines leaked, however, in 1928 a non-toxic air conditioning unit was created.

Freon became a widely used component for air conditioning, but it has been found to be dangerous to the ozone, and, has thus, been phasing out.

Present-Day Health Concerns

It has been found that air conditioning can lead to the spread of dangerous microorganisms, but this is mainly true exclusively in cooling towers that are poorly maintained.  Also, as I mentioned above, the use of Freon has been phasing out due to its ability to harm the ozone, and the modern refrigerant is what is called R-134a.

Well, there you have it.  I hope this little bit of history about ac units has helped you to understand and appreciate this amenity that we enjoy so much and often probably take for granted.

Brandon Jones enjoys writing for companies like

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