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20 Interesting Facts About Your HVAC System

Nowadays we are able to get through the dog days of summer without much discomfort. It’s incredible when you can sit through a long business lunch in a suit without breaking a sweat—and to come in from an afternoon of yard work and feel the refreshing blast of air greet us at the door. Our homes are equipped with the power to heat and cool the air; all we have to do is flip a switch or adjust a lever, and within minutes, the ambient temperature shifts. But what do you really know about air conditioning?

Here are some surprisingly cool and interesting facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during these hot summer days and nights.


1. In 180 AD, a Chinese artisan invented a 10-foot wide rotary fan with seven connected wheels; this device could cool an entire hall of people with the turn of a crank.

2. The first modern air conditioner (although it wasn’t called that just yet) was introduced in 1902, by Willis Carrier who worked for a publishing company, and needed a way to keep his paper from expanding and ink from running.

3. In 1906, a textile manufacturer in North Carolina invented the phrase “air conditioning” after he saw how the technology practically improved the quality and condition of the cloth being made in his plant.

4. Studies have shown that the diversity of air conditioners has lowered human tolerance to withstand heat.

5. Packard was the first automobile manufacturer to include air conditioning in their cars.

7. Before the air conditioners became the norm, architects had utilized specific design elements — high ceilings, porches, breezeways — intended to keep occupants cool.

8. The New York Stock Exchange building was one of the first to install an air conditioning system; this was done in 1903.

9. The advance of air conditioning had a complete impact on medicine and human life expectancy. Including not difficult ability to control air temperature, doctors were able to defeat malaria, decrease infant mortality, inhibit bacteria, and advance developments in surgery.

10. We have the term “summer blockbuster” because movie theaters were among earlyair conditioning adopters; people would flock to the movies for new releases, and to get some relief from the stifling summer heat.

11. Sixty percent of homes in Canada are heated with gas-fired, forced air furnaces.

12. A perfectly maintained HVAC system will last, on average, 10–15 years.

13.The purpose for the first air conditioner wasn’t comfort. It was invented in 1902 for a publishing company in New York because of the experiencing problems with the contraction due to varying humidity levels .

14. The first fully air conditioned home was built in a mansion in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gates. Unfortunately, he died before he could ever experience it .

15. In 1736, the English House of Commons was cooled by a seven-foot, hand-cranked “blowing wheel,” which acted as a giant fan. The man at the helm of the crank was called the Ventilator.

16. The first ice-making machine was patented as early as 1851, but the invention was smothered by American ice interests for decades due to an extensive network that stored and transported ice from northern regions.

17. The function of air conditioners is more than just cool the air - they also take humidity out of the air, making the air more comfortable.

18. Electric fans were the predecessor to contemporary air conditioning. Fans do little to actually cool the air, but they produce a “wind chill effect” by evaporating the sweat from your skin and lowering your body temperature.

19. Air conditioning saves lives. Canadian researchers found that the chance of dying on highly hot summer days has fallen more than 80 percent over the last 50 years. The research team correlated this to the rise in air conditioning .

20. Updating your system with “greener” technology can save you energy and money. The average family spends close to $2,000 on energy bills, and nearly half that goes to heating and cooling. The EPA encourages homeowners to cool their homes smartly with energy-efficient choices. The good news? These changes can save your money!

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