Have you ever wondered how our ancestors survived without air conditioning? How did they manage to fall asleep at night with hot, humid air hovering over them? If you live in Ocala, Florida, you know all about hot and humid air. In fact, when summer temperatures rise, one of the worst things that can happen is a power outage. Trying to survive a summer day without an AC system is almost unbearable.
As we offer up a word of thanks for the invention of the air conditioner, let’s explore a few fun facts about everyone’s favorite summertime companion. The next time you hear your unit kick on, you’ll know who to thank and how we got to where we are today.
Comfort Was Not the Intention
You’re probably familiar with the brand name Carrier, right? You might be surprised to learn that Willis Carrier, the inventor of the modern electric air conditioner and founder of the Carrier Corporation, did not create his invention to give everyone’s wrist a rest from fanning.
Rather, a New York publishing firm was facing a dilemma that was likely costing the company a small fortune. They were having trouble with ink control and paper expansion due to varying humidity levels in their production facility. In 1902, Carrier came to the rescue with an air conditioning system that regulated their temperatures. It wasn’t until the 1950s that air conditioning became more common in households.
AC Technology Created the Term "Summer Blockbusters"
How often have we heard marketers in the film industry refer to a summer blockbuster? Well, this is no generic term. In fact, movie theaters were one of the first businesses to make use of air conditioning technology.
In the early 1930s, air conditioning in someone’s home was about as luxurious as a solid gold toilet seat. Yet people knew where to find it on those hot summer nights — the local movie theater. This took date night to a whole new level. Instead of sweating over a home-cooked meal, people flocked to the movie theater for a happy reprieve and some good old-fashioned entertainment.
This instantly became a marketing opportunity. Folks within the film industry would try to save their release dates for the summer, since that’s where people wanted to be when the temperatures peaked.
Pioneers of Comfort Control
As we know, air conditioning wasn’t a standard feature in homes a mere 50 years ago. However, a man named Charles Gates did manage to build a fully air conditioned home in 1913. Sadly, he died before construction was complete.
The first president who was able to enjoy air conditioning in the White House was Herbert Hoover. Right after the start of the Great Depression, he spent $30,000 to install a cooling system in the Oval Office.
Hot and Humid Air
Air conditioners do more than simply reduce the temperature in the air. They also remove humidity from your home. You don’t need to set your unit to "On" to achieve this benefit. Rather, simply keep it in the "Auto" setting.
If your system is set to "On," the fan will blow all the time. This will allow moisture to blow back into your house, altering humidity levels. When the system is set to "Auto," it’ll only blow the air around when the system is cooling.
AC Systems Save Lives
We hope you’ve never had to endure a power outage on a hot summer night. We wouldn’t even call air conditioning a luxury anymore. In many cases, it’s a true necessity. Over the last 50 years, mortality rates related to excessive summer temperatures have dropped by more than 80 percent, thanks to our ability to regulate the temperature in our homes and businesses.
If you ever need to have your current air conditioning system serviced or replaced, call Sun Kool at (352) 330-1067. One of our friendly service technicians will be more than happy to help you evaluate your air conditioning options and maintain peak air quality for everyone in your home.
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