It’s difficult to imagine living through Florida’s blistering summers without air conditioning. Before the widespread use of HVAC systems, people attempted creative methods to cool off in sweltering conditions, even harvesting and storing winter ice for later use. All this changed in 1902 when a young engineer named Willis Carrier invented a humidity-controlling machine for a New York printing company that needed a way to keep paper from wrinkling.
Carrier’s machine wasn’t the first attempt at a mechanical air conditioner. In 1851, a Florida doctor received a patent for an ice-making cooling machine, and 30 years later the Navy Corps of Engineers kept a dying President Garfield comfortable with fans blowing across blocks of ice. Carrier’s machine operated under the principles of the Rational Psychrometric Formulae to determine and adjust humidity and temperature levels in a room. Unlike its predecessors, the machine forced air through water-filled coils to remove moisture, laying the groundwork for modern air conditioners.
Leading the Industry
In 1911, Carrier presented his formulae to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This technology revolutionized air conditioning design and opened up the new industry of commercial cooling, which made working conditions comfortable and safe while increasing productivity. Carrier saw the potential in the field and, in 1915, joined forces with six other men to found Carrier Engineering Corporation. The company continued seeking ways to improve its designs, developing the centrifugal chiller in 1922. This made air conditioning units more reliable and less expensive, paving the way for widespread usage of residential air conditioners.
Changing the Way People Live
The path to residential air conditioning started in department stores and movie theaters. Air conditioning not only made the shopping experience more enjoyable for customers, but it also prevented medical emergencies like fainting on hot summer days. Carrier turned his attention to theaters where moviegoers flocked to see the latest Hollywood releases. They were the perfect venues to show off what his machines could do. The company then pioneered bypass circulation, a down-draft distribution system, and an ejector system that made unit air conditioners possible. By the end of World War II, Carrier had installations in skyscrapers, ocean liners, hotels and hospitals across the country.
In the post-war years, Americans left cities for life in the suburbs. Carrier followed them, entering booming residential real estate markets throughout the southern United States. By 1988, the company developed a new line of units that already met energy efficiency standards that the U.S. government would release four years later. That same year, the company produced a machine that recycled CFC-11 instead of releasing it into the environment and, within a few years, started using centrifugal compressors that worked using environmentally friendly refrigerants.
Carrier continues operating as an industry leader around the world. That’s why Cox Air proudly installs and services Carrier products. Call us today to schedule your HVAC system service or installation to stay cool and comfortable all summer long.