July 17, 2012
Stay Cool With The 110th Anniversary Of The Air Conditioner
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On July 16, 1902 if you wanted to find a way to keep cool in the summer heat you most likely would have had limited options, but move ahead just one day and the possibility of enduring that sweltering warmth got a whole lot cooler, literally.
One hundred and ten years ago today (July 17, 1902) Dr. Willis H. Carrier unveiled his air conditioning system that he developed to control the humidity in a New York printing plant. Little did he know that his system would forever change the way we live, work and play.
Carrier, inventor and founder of the company that bears his name, was a young research engineer fresh out of college (Cornell University) when he finalized the design to stabilize humidity in the air so the dimensions of the paper at Sackett & Wilhelms Lithography and Printing Company in Brooklyn, NY would remain constant throughout the printing process.
Since then, Carrier has gone on to earn more than 80 patents on devices that control temperature, ventilation, air and humidity, and his innovations have been applied all over the world to malls, businesses, homes, and even transportation.
Carrier was named one of the “100 Most Influential People of the Century” by TIME magazine in 1998. His company is the world leader in high technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions and is part of the UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a division of United Technologies Corp.
Little else had been known about Carrier´s life and work until June of this year, when his company released a new book called Weathermakers to the World, available via Amazon.com. The 144-page hardcover chronicles the entrepreneurship of Willis Carrier and the history of air-conditioning.
Unfortunately, air-conditioning systems (called weathermakers in their infancy) weren´t implemented in the residential market until the early 1940s with the first systems going into Fort Worth, Texas homes.
“In the early 1900s, air conditioning was primarily an industrial application that enabled countless industries to thrive with candy-making companies, textile mills and theaters some of the most enthusiastic early adopters,” said Geraud Darnis, president & CEO, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. “Over the years, Carrier´s innovations looked to make possible what was previously impossible. Today our focus remains true to our heritage as we continually push the envelope to create energy efficient, environmentally responsible products for both commercial and residential applications in all areas of the world.”
Today, air-conditioning is big business, and with summer temperatures reaching record highs, what better way to keep cool than to catch up on a few fun facts you should know about you´re A/C.
*Cooling and heating in your home contributes about 40 to 50 percent of the energy used.
*To conserve energy, a/c manufacturers suggest keeping your thermostat set at 76 degrees
*A typical a/c is installed to carry 25 degrees, making it difficult to get your home below 75 degrees in a 100+ degree heat wave.
*The average a/c unit is built to last up to 15 years when maintained properly.
*Failure to replace the air filter is the number 1 reason air-conditioners do not perform properly.
A little history for you as well: A number of companies, including Tiffany & Co., Macy´s, and Sears, donated their a/c systems during World War II to aid in the war effort. Nearly 7,000 tons of a/c systems were removed from the stores and reinstalled in facilities where workers were exhaustively producing materials needed for the war.