The United States has a long and rich history when it comes to HVAC. Did you know that the very first air conditioner was invented in America? At Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating, we look to celebrate our nation's Independence Day by reviewing the history of HVAC and how it has evolved over the years.
Ancient Heating and Cooling History
Man can date the need for heating and cooling as early as the cave dwellers' days. The heat was essential for survival as it kept fires burning and homes warm. In the winter, cave dwellers would build fires inside their caves to keep warm. Later on, in 3000 BC, the Ancient Egyptians used enslaved people to fan air over hot coals to cool down their homes. The Ancient Greeks also used a similar method by hanging wet linen in front of their open windows. This would help cool down the air that came into the home. The Roman Empire had one of the first pieces of evidence of heating systems. The Roman Emperor Nero had enslaved people fan him with ostrich feathers while he watched gladiator fights. The Romans used a system of heated air ducts to warm their homes and public buildings during the cold weather. This system was called the hypocaust. The hypocaust consisted of a series of underfloor fires that heated the air, which then rose through ducts in the walls and floors. The hypocaust was a highly effective heating system that remained in use for centuries. Many of the principles used in modern forced-air furnaces can be traced back to the hypocaust. In the Middle East, the temperatures can get extremely hot during the summer months. To combat this, people in this region developed a type of air conditioning called the windcatcher. Windcatchers are essentially large fans that are mounted on the roofs of buildings. They work by funneling cool breezes into the building, which helps to keep the interior cool and comfortable for inhabitants. The Chinese also had a form of central heating, which they used to heat their homes and public baths. The system consisted of a series of coal-fired furnaces connected to ducts in the walls and floors. Hot air from the furnace would rise through the ducts, providing necessary warmth to the entire building. While these early heating systems were quite effective, they were also very dangerous to use. If someone did not tend the fires properly, they could quickly get out of control and cause severe damage. For cooling needs, people were using manually operated rotary fans. These were used to cool down public places such as temples and palaces. In 100 AD, Ding Huan invented the world's first manually operated rotary fan out of six wings that were attached to a central axis. In Ancient Greece, the mathematician Hero of Alexandria developed writings about air conditioning. In his work, Pneumatica, Hero described a system for cooling and ventilation using a fan and pipes. This is believed to be the first-ever mention of air conditioning. However, it would be many centuries before somebody developed this technology. It wasn't until the late 19th century that air conditioning and heating units began to be used in homes and public buildings.
The Early Days Of Air Conditioning and Heating in America
The early days of air conditioning were mainly used for commercial purposes, such as in factories and office buildings. It actually wasn't until the mid-20th century that air conditioning became common in American homes. These units were large and bulky, requiring a lot of energy to run. As a result, they were pretty expensive to operate, making them unreachable for many homeowners. In 1881, the first air conditioner was invented by Dr. John Gorrie. This device was designed to cool patients in a hospital. However, it was not until 1902 that the first air conditioner was installed in a home, and in 1915, the first air conditioner was placed in a commercial building. The first heater was invented in 1885 by Warren S. Johnson. This device was designed to heat homes and office buildings. Ten years later, the first central heating system was installed in a home, and in 1909, the first steam heating system was installed in a commercial building.
The 20th Century and the Popularization of AC and Heating Units
Willis Carrier invented what is considered the first modern air conditioner. Carrier's invention was designed to control the humidity in a printing plant. However, it quickly became apparent that his invention had much broader applications. Over the next few decades, air conditioning and heating became increasingly popular in America. In 1930, more than 200,000 air conditioners were in use nationwide. In the same year, the first air-conditioned automobile was invented. In 1932, the first air-conditioned office building was built at the request of President Herbert Hoover. By the decade's end, air conditioning was being used in homes, offices, factories, and movie theaters across the nation. In the 1940s, air conditioning began to be used in automobiles. By the decade's end, more than 1 million homes in America had air conditioners. In the 1960s, central air conditioning became increasingly common in American homes. Air conditioning became even more common in the 1950s and 1960s as the price of air conditioners began to drop. By the 1970s, nearly half of all American homes had air conditioning. Technological advances in the 1980s and 1990s led to more energy-efficient air conditioners and heaters. Today, air conditioning and heating units are commonplace in America, being used in most homes, office buildings, factories, stores, and automobiles.
The Rise of HVAC Companies
Due to the increasing popularity of air conditioning and heating, many companies began to specialize in installing and repairing these systems. In 1926, the first HVAC company was founded. In the years that followed, many other HVAC companies were established to combat demand. Today, there are thousands of HVAC companies across the country. These companies, like Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating, provide a vital service to homeowners and businesses alike, keeping them comfortable year-round.
Benefits of an HVAC System
Finding a trustworthy company like Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating to help you make informed decisions about your HVAC system is key to having a comfortable home. HVAC systems provide many benefits, including:
- Home Comfort throughout the year
- Efficient use of energy
- Improved indoor air quality
- Reduced noise pollution
- Ability to maintain a consistent temperature
- Improved sleep quality
Why choose Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating
At Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating, our licensed technicians are highly trained and experienced to handle all types of HVAC systems. With locations in Bastrop and Round Rock, we are quick to respond to any of your heating and cooling installations, maintenance, or repair needs. We also service heat pumps and provide assistance with air quality. Our great prices, quality work, and excellent customer service are just a few reasons that our clients in Texas keep coming back to us. Contact Blue Ribbon Cooling & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our staff.