Four Score and Seven Years Ago: HVAC History

Four Score and Seven Years Ago: HVAC HistoryFour score and seven years ago, in the 1930s, air conditioners were a hot technology that helped “comfort” people and the American economy during the time of the Great Depression. However, important HVAC inventions began long before just 87 years ago.

Keep reading to learn something about HVAC history that, over millennia, keeps your South Texas home comfortable today.

Golden Age of Chinese HVAC History

First on the list of HVAC history inventions is the first mechanical rotary fan — the precursor to ceiling fans, electrically-driven fans, and blowers. The large mechanical fan was invented in China during the Han Dynasty. The mechanical fan was actually a network of interconnected fans that were operated by a single person using large wheels (nearly 10-foot in diameter) — cooling very large rooms.

Greco-Roman Age

Around the same time as the first mechanical fan was invented, the forerunner to the modern radiant floor and central heating system was invented by the Greeks and Romans. The heating system, called a hypocaust, consisted of pipes and channels that were installed under marble floors of buildings. Fires from furnaces or inside the channels produced heat that warmed the floor, walls and rooms above.

Four Score and Seven Years Ago

Benjamin Franklin was one of our country’s Founding Fathers. He was an intelligent man, to say the least, who wore many hats — two of which were an inventor and a scientist. Benjamin Franklin’s contribution to HVAC history is the Franklin Stove. The Franklin Stove was used a baffle and U-shaped duct to draw more heat into a room and less smoke (i.e. improved indoor air quality, too!).

Willis Carrier: American Ingenuity

Though the modern air conditioner really took hold in America and abroad during the 1930s, it was invented in 1902 by American engineer Willis Carrier. The air conditioner is such a profound invention, it’s difficult to imagine a world without it. It keeps us comfortable, preserves food, saves lives, creates jobs, and it’s the driving innovation in modern cultures.

When you need HVAC services for your Corpus Christi home, contact the HVAC history and service experts at CCAC!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.  

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »