HVAC History

Modern principles of HVAC technologies are based on discoveries and knowledge of Nikolay Lvov, Michael Faraday, John Hadley, Willis Carrier, Edwin Ruud, John Gorrie, and many others. The first mention of a cooling machine we can find at the beginning of the 19th century. This discovery belongs to Americans. At Florida’s hospital, Dr. John Gorrie was concerned about the health of his patients suffering from the heat. He tried to cool down patients using cloths with ice. Suddenly an idea came to his head. What was easier: to cool down every patient or the room?

He started thinking about the possibility of bringing big ice cubes in the room. That is how the first ice-making machine appeared in 1830. It used compression to make buckets of ice and then made air circulate over them. Unfortunately, despite getting a patent for his invention, Dr. John Gorrie had no money to develop it further. People forgot about his invention until 1881.

In 1881 hospitals again needed help. The new cooling machine arrived. New device could cool the room using ice cubes and water-soaking cloths to make patients feel comfortable. Anyway, it used too many ice cubes and did not become a popular device.

Old air conditioner

Alfred Wollf got an idea of the first air conditioner system in 1902 in New York. The device blew the air over cold coils and controlled temperature in the room. Mr. Willis Carrier bought this idea and established the first Air Conditioning Company of America in 1906.

Also in 1906, Mr. Stuart Cramer created ventilation machine for textile plants which helped to control temperature and humidity in the room. He also was the first person who started calling this process “air conditioning”.

After this invention, air conditioners arrived at plants, factories, offices, houses. Thought before the 1950s people were suspicious to air conditioning, air conditioners were in every 100’th household after World War II.

Modern ventilation system

Press advertising After this progress is unstoppable. Air conditioning comes to plants, factories, offices, houses. Thought before 1950s people were suspicious to air conditioning, after World War II air conditioning was in every 100’th house.

In the 1970s Freon replaced coils in air conditioners. It did not take a lot of time to understand that Freon was dangerous for the environment and atmosphere. In the 1990s less harmful refrigerant replaced Freon. A new era began.

Now, in the 21st-century, an air conditioner is “must have” for most of Americans. They use it every day without thinking that the first step was done in far 1830, with the help of ice and soaked cloth.