top of page

Pretty Cool: A Brief History of the Air Conditioning Industry

It is easy to take air conditioning for granted in the modern world, where comfortable temperature control is considered a necessity rather than a luxury. Now we expect high quality air con services at home, in the workplace and in commercial environments.

But air conditioning isn’t actually a wholly modern invention. Our ancestors were finding ways to improve their quality of life through temperature adjustments centuries before the invention of electricity and what we now know today as modern AC.

Read on to learn more about the endlessly interesting history of the air conditioning industry.

Air conditioning engineer

Air Conditioning in Antiquity

Origins of air cooling date back to passive air conditioning techniques pioneered by the Ancient Egyptians. They invented an evaporative cooling process by placing damp reed mats over windows and doorways. These passive methods gradually spread to other cultures, where techniques were honed and improved over the years.

Early Discoveries

In 1620 Dutch engineer and inventor Cornelis Drebbel demonstrated a chemical cooling of part of Westminster Abbey for King James I. This spurred a growing interest in how various chemical processes can impact temperature. In 1758 Benjamin Franklin and his colleague John Hadley developed a cooling technique through evaporation which succeeded in lowering a thermometer temperature to -14C. Developments in vapour compression continued throughout the 1800s, where in 1851 James Harrison developed a vapour compression system that became the first mechanical ice-making machine.

Modern Air Conditioning

Developments in electricity made modern air conditioning systems as we know them possible on a wide scale. American inventor WIllis Carrier is credited with producing the first modern air conditioning unit in 1901. The term ‘air conditioning’ was coined in 1906 by Stuart Cramer, who developed methods of adding moisture to the air of his textile mill. Carrier later incorporated the term into his product designs. By the 1930s, individual room air conditioners began to be more popular in a number of households.

From the 1970s, the industry became more aware of the environmental impact of their air con systems. This drove a push to produce a more energy efficient product, where new systems today consume roughly half of the energy supplies used in the 90s.

Production and supply dramatically increased throughout the remainder of the 20th century, with office air conditioning becoming more popular alongside home units. It was estimated that in 2018, around 1.6 billion air con units were installed across the globe.

21st Century Air Conditioning

Today domestic air conditioning systems allow us to stay warm in winter and cool in the summer months. Complete Cooling Services Ltd have been offering top quality home aircon installation for over 40 years, offering a 3-year warranty with any purchase, and providing unbeatable customer care.

At Complete Cooling, we offer a range of domestic and commercial air conditioning services, including installation, repairs and maintenance. Request a free survey now, or contact us for more information.

9 views0 comments


bottom of page