For Floridians, Spring has long since sprung and we are diving head first into Summer. Summer in Florida is a gorgeous albeit temperamental time. The beach has more visitors than ever, barbecues are in full swing, but man is it hot! If our Spring is anything to go by than this Summer will be one for the records. Are you and your family prepared? Air conditioning is what helps Floridians cope with above average temperatures and stay cool during dangerously hot weather. It’s hard to imagine that it hasn’t always been this way. Air conditioning actually has a fascinating past, going far beyond a machine into the use of evaporated water.
Ancient Egyptians actually started the idea that indoor spaces could achieve lower temperatures by hanging wet mats over doorways. The evaporated water from the mats made the rooms cooler and more refreshing. Following the Egyptians were the Romans, who created a primitive air conditioning system that circulated fresh water through indoor pipes.
Years passed and experiments began being done by famous scientists including Benjamin Franklin, John Hadley, and Michael Faraday, but it wasn’t until Florida physician John Gorrie developed a machine to keep patients cool. His “cold air machine” was patented in 1851 and is the first resemblance of the modern air conditioner. 1903 saw a revival and innovation. Engineer Willis Carrier designed a system made up of chilled coils to keep a consistent, comfortable humidity inside the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, New York. Following Carrier, Stuart Cramer developed a similar machine but is famed with the first to coin the term “air conditioning”.
Air conditioning continued to be used in commercial buildings but it wasn’t until 1914 that Charles Gates hired Carrier to install an air conditioner in his mansion. This was the beginning of residential air conditioning and as they say, the rest is history!