If you are someone who benefits from air conditioning you will probably take a lot of it for granted, as it’s easy to forget just how sophisticated and complex air conditioning systems are. When the sweltering summer days hit and our workplaces and homes suddenly become as a hot as a sauna, you’ll be glad to have a reliable air conditioning unit breathing cool, fresh air and cooling you down.
You don’t need to be an expert on the inner working of an AC unit in order to benefit from them, but it is interesting to learn some of the lesser known things about air conditioning. Below are 5 facts about air conditioning that may surprise you.
It wasn’t always so affordable
Thankfully the price of air conditioning has gone down significantly as technology has advanced, allowing regular people to enjoy the benefits of cool air. However, this wasn’t always the case as in previous eras it was a lot more expensive to devise air conditioning systems. For example, in the U.S the price of a working AC system in the 1940’s was a whopping $6,000 (nearly £4,600) which is far higher than today’s prices.
AC helped make or break films
In the early days of air conditioning only select establishments, such as movie theatres, were able to afford such expensive systems. During the hot summer months, many would go to the movies simply to escape the unbearable heat which led movie companies to compete for the lucrative summertime movie slots.
Antiquated air con systems
Although not quite as technologically advanced as modern systems, one of the most interesting attempts at creating an air conditioning unit was in the British House of Commons where a 7-foot wheel was spun around by hand to cool MPs. An even earlier effort nearly 2,000 years ago was documented in China, which also involved a large wheel fan which was capable of bringing refreshing air into an entire room.
The inventor of air con
Considered the founding father of air conditioning, Willis Carrier initially discovered the process of air conditioning in 1902 in an attempt to keep his lithographic paper from being spoiled in the heat. Eventually he realised the magnitude of his discovery and began to work on creating efficient air con systems over the next few decades.
Air conditioning can save lives
Many people tend to think of air conditioning as a comfortable luxury to stop you from feeling too hot in your home or office, but this definitely is not the case for those living in extremely hot environments. Some studies have suggested that air conditioning has helped contribute towards a huge 80% reduction in heat-related deaths over the past 50 years. In addition to this, as air conditioning filters the air it has helped to reduce mortality rates in regions where diseases are commonly spread.