Nowadays, an air conditioner is a must in Toronto. You rarely see a home without it. We never even think of a time when there wasn’t AC.
But back when it was first invented, it was a huge step forward. It caused a lot of cool things to happen.
We’ve gathered a few air conditioner fun facts from then and now to show you just how much AC has done for home cooling everywhere.
1. Ice Power
When AC first started out, the output setting was measure in Ice Power, or how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same amount of cooling power.
2. It Was Invented for Paper, Not People
Willis Carrier invented the AC in 1902 not to cool people down, but to reduce the humidity so that a printing company could get the ink to stick to the paper when it was too hot out.
3. AC Created ‘Summer Blockbusters’
Movie theatres were some of the first establishments to integrate air conditioning technology into their venues. People flocked to enjoy the films and the cool air, hence why movies were so popular in the summer.
Hollywood took note and released their biggest movies in the summer. And so was born the ‘summer blockbuster’, a term that is still used today.
4. Architecture Was the Original AC
Before AC, homes were built with high ceilings, breezeways and other features to achieve cooler air.
5. AC Spurred on Science
AC helped further scientific medical research. Without a consistently cool environment to work in, some medications and procedures would not have been possible.
6. We’re Programmed to Need It
AC is so good that if we lost it, it would be bad for us. Scientific studies show since the invention of AC, human tolerance for heat has gone done. We’re so used to a cool environment we can no longer handle heat as well as we used to.
7. U.S Uses as Much AC as Africa Uses Power
Each year, the U.S uses the same amount of energy to power air conditioners as Africa uses to power its entire country.
8. Summer Vacation Predates AC
Remember how exciting it was to have summer vacation? The idea was implemented before air conditioners were invented and it was too hot to learn. Happily, the practice stuck around.
9. What Happens In Vegas Would Have Happened Elsewhere
Without the invention of air conditioning, chances are Las Vegas would be in a northeastern part of America due to the high heat the city and surrounding states experience, particularly in the summer.
Populations in southern states like Nevada and Arizona didn’t spike until after the invention of AC, because then people were able to live there without having to combat the heat.
10. Driving In Style
Every car has an air conditioner now; we don’t think twice about it. But imagine how exciting it would have been to own the very first car to have air conditioning, which was made by Packard in the late 1930s.
11. AC in the Oval
The Oval Office in the United States installed air conditioning in 1929, right after the stock market crash and at the beginning of the Great Depression.
The system cost $30,000 to install. The president who got to experience it? Herbert Hoover.
12. The First Fully Air Conditioned Home
Charles Gates, heir to the barbed wire fortune, was the first person to have a home that was fully air conditioned. It was built in Minneapolis in 1913.
Unfortunately, due to his untimely death on a hunting trip before the house was completed, he never got to enjoy it.
While we certainly don’t measure output in ice power, the basic principles remain the same as they were in 1903. Those principles are: lower the humidity, stay cool, and keep your machine well maintained so it is always up and running when you need it most.