Who Invented Air Conditioning?

Who Invented Air Conditioning?

Summertime, and the living is … pretty easy, actually. California summers may be hot, but it’s nice and comfortable indoors. Relax, sit back, maybe watch some TV and enjoy the refreshing flow of cool air from your air conditioner. Usually we take it for granted, but human beings have been trying to cool off for a very long time, and the technology that keeps us cool these days has a very interesting history.

Air Conditioning in the Stone Age

People have always looked for ways to cool off in hot weather. Even in prehistoric times, Stone Age people had their own ways of beating the heat.

In modern terms, we would say that they took advantage of insulation and heat sinks. “Cavemen” didn’t use those words, of course, but they liked caves for a good reason: the surrounding rock provides a natural insulating effect and keeps the interior at a steady temperature all year round. Solid walls of substances like brick and adobe offered the same type of protection.

Similarly, prehistoric people understood that on a warm day, it’s cooler near the water. They took advantage of the natural cooling effects of rivers, lakes and beaches. California was an especially hospitable area, and pre-agricultural native Californians enjoyed an exceptionally high standard of living.

Air Conditioning in the Ancient World

The ancient Egyptians were amazing architects — just look at the Pyramids! Their architectural genius also extended to building comfortable homes for Egypt’s hot climate. They built thick walls for insulation and whitened them to reflect away the worst of the sun’s heat. They angled doors and windows to take advantage of the prevailing breezes. They even figured out how to make those breezes cooler by making them flow over water or through wet reeds.

The ancient Chinese developed remarkably sophisticated ways of cooling their buildings. They used waterflow and manual labor to power fans, fountains and even water jets to cool off the palaces of the wealthy.

Some cooling techniques became standard in warm climates. The civilizations of cold, wet Europe developed a tradition of hospitality based on the fire. The hearth became the warm heart of the home, at which guests were invited to warm themselves. In the hot, dry climate of the Mediterranean, hospitality was centered on water instead. Guests were invited to bathe their feet and relax by a cool fountain.

Artificial Cooling: Evaporation and Condensation

With the Scientific Revolution, came new breakthroughs that would lead to modern air conditioning systems.

In 1558, the Neapolitan scholar Giambattista della Porta published the book Natural Magic, which is now recognized as a foundational work in the history of science. He included many observations about the physical and chemical properties of various substances. Among these, he noted that it was possible to greatly lower the freezing point of water by adding potassium nitrate.

In 1620, the Dutch inventor Cornelis Drebbel applied this principle to a dramatic display at the court of King James I of England, “Turning Summer into Winter” by creating an elaborate system that dramatically cooled down a part of Westminster Abbey.

In 1758, Benjamin Franklin conducted an experiment in artificial cooling using a mercury thermometer. He showed that volatile liquids such as alcohol and ether, which evaporate extremely rapidly, can be used to lower the temperature below freezing. He was able to cause ice to form on the thermometer even though the weather outside was a mild 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

In 1820, the English inventor Michael Faraday showed how to use the cooling power of evaporation with a closed system. He developed a compressor which could condense ammonia vapor into liquid ammonia. The liquid could be allowed to evaporate, creating a cooling effect, and then condensed again to repeat the cycle.

Nineteenth-century inventors built on this work for the next 80 years, developing a variety of cooling machines and ice-makers. However, air conditioning as we know it today didn’t become truly practical until the age of electricity.

Willis H. Carrier

In 1902, an American inventor named Willis H. Carrier built the first modern electrical air conditioning unit. It was installed in a Brooklyn office. Carrier’s invention not only cooled the air, but it also controlled the humidity. Carrier went on to develop a number of important principles regarding the control of temperature and humidity which have guided the development of the technology ever since.

In 1914, Carrier and a group of other young engineers pooled their savings and launched the Carrier Engineering Corporation. The company grew and expanded, despite the challenges posed by the Great Depression and two world wars, and became one of the biggest employers in central New York. The Carrier Corporation hosted a pavilion shaped like an igloo at the 1939 World’s Fair to show the world the future of air conditioning.

Willis H. Carrier died in 1950 at the age of 73, but the Carrier Corporation remains one of the world’s foremost HVAC and refrigeration companies.

Air Conditioning Changes the World

The world was a different place before air conditioning became widely available. Summer used to be the deadliest season of the year: heat waves would cause thousands of deaths from dehydration and heatstroke. On sweltering summer nights, it was too hot to sleep or to do anything else; spring saw the lowest birth rates of the year. Hot states like Florida and Arizona had low populations because no one wanted to deal with the heat. Air conditioning changed all of that.

In 1914, the first home air conditioner was installed. In 1933, the first home to feature central air conditioning was built. In 1939, the first automobile with built-in air conditioning hit the market. In 1945, the first practical window-mounted AC unit was developed. In the late 1960s, the majority of newly built homes featured central air conditioning, and window units were ubiquitous in buildings that didn’t have a central system.

Because of Willis H. Carrier and hundreds of other scientists and inventors before and after him, we live a world of cool indoor comfort.

The Air Conditioning Experts in Sacramento, CA

At Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ve been trusted experts in the Sacramento area since 1976. We serve residential clients as well as businesses, including hospitals and vineyards. Since adding HVAC services in 2012, we’ve won the Best of the Best Award nine years in a row.

We’re trusted by Sacramento in every type of project we undertake, and we do every kind of air conditioning work, including repairs, installations and replacements, maintenance, service agreements and new construction.

But we do a lot more than residential air conditioning. Our services include air conditioning, heating, plumbing, indoor air quality services, duct repair and replacement, whole-house fans, ventilation, humidification and commercial projects. Our expertise in the big jobs translates to understanding everything about small jobs, too, as shown by our many awards for residential service.

Contact Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air today for more information! We’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment.

How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?

How Do UV Light Indoor Air Quality Products Work?

For a long time, UV light has been utilized in the disinfection of drinking water, air, and surgical equipment. History has shown that UV light is highly effective in dealing with microbes and disease-causing microorganisms. Advancements in technology have seen the applications of UV light diversify. For instance, it is now used in improving indoor air quality. Most indoor air quality products now feature UV light that is utilized in purifying and cleaning air to eliminate potential health concerns.

What You Should Know About UV Light Purifiers

UV air quality products are products that feature UV integrated purifiers that help enhance indoor air quality. The purifiers featured utilize the short-wave ultraviolet light, commonly known as the UV-C light, to kill disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Of importance to note is that UV light purifiers have the same function as other air purifiers; their main purpose is eliminating indoor air pollutants.

The technology that involves the use of UV light to purify indoor air is also known as UV germicidal irradiation that is shortened as UVGI air purifiers.

Types of UV Light Purifiers

Homeowners that need commercial or residential UV light purifiers have two options. Either buy the units as freestanding devices that function as stand-alone systems or as systems that have been pre-installed in HVAC systems. As the air is pushed through the air conditioner, it is passed through UV lamps that work to disinfect it through the germicidal irradiation process. This process ensures that microbes such as bacterial, viruses, and microorganisms that are in the air are killed hence improving the indoor air quality.

UV-C Light Purifiers

UV-C light air purifiers are rarely stand-alone units. Rather, they depend on other additional systems for their functionality. Most UV-C light purifiers are bought as part of the High-efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) air purification systems. According to the EPA, UV-C air purifiers are less effective when used as stand-alone air purification units since they cannot trap or remove contaminants from the air.

How Do UV Light Purifiers Function?

The functioning of the UV-C light purifiers is simple. They feature UV lamps that disinfect the air when it is passed through them. The UV lamp can destroy or kill microbes by altering their DNA. The color of the UV-C light depends on the material of the emitter. If the emitter is made of quartz or phosphorus, the light might appear blueish or invisible to the human eye. Many residential buildings use emitters that are made of mercury with the UV-C light emitted at a wavelength of 254 nanometers as per the EPA guidelines.

UV light purifiers work in combination with other filters such as HEPA filters to clean the indoor air. This means that the UV purifiers also utilize other filtration processes to remove air pollutants and enhance their effectiveness. When the purifiers are on, indoor air is pushed through the unit and then directed to the chamber that has UV-light emitting bulbs to remove air pollutants. The location of the UV lamps is often downstream of the filter that is found in portable air purifiers.

5 Factors That Determine the Effectiveness of UV-C Light Purifiers

UV light purifiers are highly effective in removing pollutants from the air, although this can be affected based on the brand and type of unit that one is using. When using a portable air purifier, the effectiveness of a UV light purifier depends on a number of factors. This is the reason why experts recommend the use of many UV-C light purifiers to anyone looking to eliminate mold allergens and dust mites from any living space.

Some of the factors that determine the effectiveness of UV-C light purifiers are:

1. If the air contaminants get in contact with UV light.

For the UV light purifiers to be effective, the air contaminants must be in contact with the UV light. If the contaminants are not exposed to UV light, they will not be killed; hence the effectiveness of the purifier will be compromised.

2. Whether the UV light’s effectiveness is affected by the cooling effect resulting from airflow.

When the air is forced into the unit, the resultant cooling effect might compromise the effectiveness of the UV light by cooling it. If the UV light is cooled due to the airflow, it might not meet the required dosage to kill some air contaminants.

3. The highest amount of UV light is required in killing the contaminants.

The amount of UV light required to remove microbes from the air varies depending on the nature of the targeted microbes. The effectiveness of the UV light purifiers depends on the bulb’s capacity to produce the required light dosage.

4. The duration of the contaminants’ exposure to the UV light.

The effectiveness of UV light in killing microbes, such as viruses and bacteria, depends on how long these pollutants are exposed to the light. The longer they are exposed to the light, the higher the chances that they will be removed. If the exposure is too short, the UV light might not get rid of the air pollutants effectively.

5. What material is the bulb emitting the UV light made of?

The UV light-emitting bulbs are made of different materials. Materials that emit UV light determine the dosage of their emission, which means that their effectiveness differs significantly.

About Us

When it comes to service provisions in Sacramento, Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air is a leader. As a company, we provide a wide range of services, including plumbing, heating, ventilation, humidification, duct repair and maintenance, and air conditioning. Our customers are both residential and commercial investors who rely on our high-quality home services to keep their properties habitable and comfortable. Our company works with certified technicians and plumbers to ensure that we meet and exceed the expectations of our clients. As a service provider company, we ensure that our plumbers and technicians are highly trained and well equipped and can undertake both small and large projects within Sacramento.

Every service and project we undertake is fully insured, and if there are damages to your property in the process of serving you, we will gladly cover the damages. You can trust us for all your plumbing, air conditioning, duct repair and maintenance needs, and other related services without the risk of any surprise costs. This is because we do all our pricing upfront and guarantee each customer that there will be no surprise or hidden costs.

Contact Us Today

Are you looking for a professional company that can handle all your plumbing, heating, ventilation, humidification, duct repair and maintenance, and air conditioning services? If yes, get in touch with us today. Our highly-trained customer support team will listen to your needs and ensure that they schedule an appointment with our professional plumbers and technicians. Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air is a one-stop-shop for all your service needs, and we are always ready to come to your rescue whenever you need our services.