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How Air Conditioning Altered America

Warehouse

Before the invention and widespread use of air conditioning, life in America was dictated by the seasons. Houses were designed with hot weather in mind, with high ceilings that allowed heat to rise, overhanging eaves that kept out direct sunlight and porches that offered relief when it was too hot inside.

The advent of air conditioning not only changed the way houses are designed and built in America, but also altered the country’s cultural, economical and physical landscape. It all began with an engineer named Willis Haviland Carrier.

In honor of what would have been George Washington’s 284th birthday, let’s take a look at the history of air conditioning in America and how it has changed the way we live.

A History-Altering Apparatus

Built in 1902, Carrier’s “Apparatus for Treating Air” is generally acknowledged as America’s first air conditioner. It wasn’t designed to lower air temperatures, however. Installed at the Sacketts Wilhems Printing Company in Brooklyn, N.Y., the machine kept magazine pages dry and wrinkle-free by extracting moisture from the air. The fact that it also made the indoor environment cooler was a happy accident. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for Carrier to realize the product’s potential.

Cultural Shifts

By the 1920s, cooling systems produced by the new Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America were finding their way into hospitals, theaters and retailers. Shopping in air-conditioned stores became a popular pastime, and the money that people spent viewing films in air-conditioned theaters made the movies big business. Life no longer had to come to a standstill during the heat of the day. Businesses were more productive and leisure activities could be enjoyed indoors.

A Place in the Sun

Sales of residential air conditioners accelerated after World War II, and by the 1950s, architects were designing homes that included the new technology. From the deserts of Southern California to the humid Central Florida region, air conditioning allowed builders to locate housing developments in places once considered too uncomfortable to inhabit. Air conditioning is responsible for the explosive growth that took place in the nation’s sunniest spots during the latter half of the 20th century.

Freezing Mechanical: Your South Florida AC Experts

For the past 15 years, Freezing Mechanical has been proud to bring the latest and greatest advancements in air conditioning technology to residents and business owners in the Miami-Dade and Broward regions of the Sunshine State. To learn more about our innovative products and money-saving services, contact us online or call us today (305) 363-7021!