According to a leading newspaper in India, nearly 4620 people died due to the heat wave in India in 2017. Rising temperature during the summers is a challenge for Indians. People all around the world use different techniques to beat the heat. The most common ways are using a ceiling or table fan, AC, or packing and heading off for a vacation in a hill station. Everyone one has their own ways to deal with the heat. ACs and fans are a marvelous noble invention by humans to deal with hot weather. From the medieval ages, humans have found their own ways to keep themselves cool during the hot weather. You will be amazed to know that humans have tried silly and unconventional methods to build artificial cooling methods to cool themselves in hot summer.
How It All Started
It all started in ancient age. Without any electricity, Egyptians discovered a way to turn the hot air in to a cold breeze by hanging reeds on windows and doorways, so when the air flows through the reeds it turned air into a cold breeze. But the Romans were much more advanced & smart with their cooling techniques. They run cold water on the wall with the help of pipe so the room temperature can drop. One of the most common and handy technique to cool the atmosphere of the home is by planting trees and building a garden in around the home so that the temperature can be maintained easily.
Things swiftly changed when a Chinese inventor developed a manual rotary fan. Which needed 7 men to rotate 7 wheels. This invention drastically improved the efficiency of cooling. The times remained stagnant until the Americans decided to take things to the next level
Early United States Era, The First Step Towards Modern Air Conditioner
Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley invented a volatile liquid which can freeze an object at extremely low temperatures. After a few experiments, they noticed that it could freeze things below 0 Kelvin. At this level, the human body cannot survive and they die. But this didn’t stop other inventors from giving it a shot to build something great for mankind. In 1842, a doctor name Gorries used compressor technology to turn water into ice. But due to insufficient capital and finances, he could not go further and his invention could not enter the next phase.
The Birth of Modern AC in The United States For The Global Market
In 1902, an engineer named Wills Carrier built a machine for a publishing company to control humidity so that the ink on the paper doesn’t spread. This was one of the first successful models of AC. Willis Carrier is also known as the father of modern AC and he went on to set up the first factory for AC production in the world. After the successful invention of the air conditioner by Willis Carrier, people felt a need for air conditioner at home and personal use.
But the cost of an air conditioner was too high to afford and it was challenging for the customer and the manufacturer to set up an air conditioner at home. The size of an air conditioner was so big that it required a large separate space for installation. It also required a manual and continuous attention to operation. Thus, a small air conditioner was needed. In 1931 H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman invented the first AC for residential use. But it was still expensive and only wealthy people could afford it. This invention laid the foundation of residential air conditioning system and it is still widely used today in homes and offices.
Those early, the AC gained so much popularity that it was starting to be used in movie theaters. This gave birth to summer blockbusters. The idea was to provide a pleasant cold environment to viewers so that they can enjoy a movie pleasantly.
History of Air Conditioners in the Motor Vehicles
Automobile manufacturers understood the needs and demands of consumers once residential ACs were invented. In 1939, Packard Motor Car Company started to install an air conditioner in their cars. This trick revolutionized the car industry by adding more comfort to the journey. Unfortunately, the first experiment was not much effective and affordable since it took up too much space in the car. But the future of air conditioned cars looked bright in the coming years.
After the World War 2, an economic boom took place in USA and people started to adapt to the air conditioner lifestyle quickly. More than 1 million air conditioner units were sold at the end of 1953. In 1970, central AC knocked on people doors. This air conditioner unit had a condenser, a coil, and an air fan. The air was passed over coils blasted through home ventilation systems. The demand for air conditioners increases outside the border of United States and countries like United Kingdom, France, Japan and other countries started to manufacture and import AC in their countries.
Some researcher discovered that emissions produced by an air conditioner harmed the Earth’s ozone layer. This became the primary topic of climate change. Governments across the world amended the law and provided guidelines for air conditioner manufacturers. The manufacturer developed more convenient and less harmful, nature-friendly cooling machines. By 2013 87% United States consumers owned an air conditioner in their home.
The air conditioner market mushroomed in developing countries like China, India and other rapidly growing countries. The current Indian air conditioner marketing is at a boom and growing faster than ever. As the temperature in India reaches a scorching level between the months of May and August, the rise in demand for AC likely to increase years after years. Currently, only 5% Indians own an AC, but this number will grow at the rate of 15% each year.
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