Area Wide LIVE Hotline (210) 293-6700

Air Conditioner History & Other Interesting Facts

October 02, 2023

Air conditioning is one of the most common yet underappreciated marvels in the modern world. The ability to take shelter from rising temperatures outside and enjoy a home that's wonderfully cool seems like a given. But as any homeowner knows, your AC can easily go on the fritz — and if you buy a home in Texas without central cooling entirely, you're definitely going to need some help.

Luckily, professional AC installation and repair is just a quick call away. But first, read up on the history of air conditioning and how this incredible appliance has changed the way we live, work, and relax. We'll review topics like:

  • Invention and early adoption
  • Impact on architecture and population shifts
  • Energy consumption and environmental impact
  • Rise of smart thermostats
  • Summer blockbuster movies

Jon Wayne has all your AC needs covered.

Make summers more bearable with AC installation and repair services from Jon Wayne. With thousands of 5-star reviews and fast response times, our team of NATE-certified technicians has the experience and proven track record to transform your home into the comfortable oasis you deserve.

Schedule Service

Invention and Early Adoption

The first version of the modern-day air conditioner was invented by Dr. John Gorrie in 1848. The Florida-based physician designed a machine that used a compressor — powered by wind, steam, water, or horses — to create ice. Dr. Gorrie believed that high temperatures increased the likelihood that his patients could contract diseases like malaria. By offering a way to cool hospital rooms, he could theoretically improve patient outcomes.

Gorrie wasn't able to bring his product to market, but the engineer Willis Carrier took up the cause again in the early 1900s. Carrier's version of the air conditioner was closer to what we know and use today, with cooling coils helping to dehumidify and cool large spaces like textile mills.

Before long, air conditioning caught on. It was in use at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904, hit movie theaters in the 1920s, and then became more common in homes in the 1930s.

Air Conditioning in Vehicles

The earliest vehicles were open-air models that left drivers more concerned about keeping rain and snow out than keeping warm air at bay. But as closed-body cars became the norm, companies began to focus on vehicle-based AC via units that strapped to the car's interior or roof.

It wasn't until the 1940s that automobile makers like Packard and Cadillac introduced factory-installed AC. By the end of the 1950s, more than 1 million cars had AC, and the trend continued from there.

Impact on Architecture and Population Shifts

The invention and widespread adoption of air conditioning allowed architects to design buildings that didn't need workable windows and other fresh air inputs. Instead, they could dream up huge skyscrapers sealed from the outside world by steel and glass.

AC also allowed people to live in oppressively hot climates. It's likely that desert cities such as Las Vegas and Palm Springs would be small or non-existent without AC to cool businesses and homes.

Energy Consumption and Environmental Impact

The flip side of the popularity of AC is that many units run on fossil fuels that aren't the best for our environment. That's just one reason why it's so important to ensure your AC is always in tip-top shape. Replacing and cleaning your filters and hiring experts to ensure proper unit installation can boost efficiency, protect the planet, and save you money at the same time.

Rise of Smart Thermostats

The global smart thermostat market is expected to jump 23.9% between 2023 and 2033, and it's easy to see why. Smart thermostats are the key to AC personalization, and they take the guesswork out of cooling your home or business. Set it and forget it, all while living in comfort.

Summer Blockbuster Movies

When summer temps soar, one way to escape the heat is to head indoors — hopefully to a place where someone else is footing the bill for a nice, cool interior. AC has helped make movie theaters a go-to refuge for people in dire need of respite. Studios figured that out fairly quickly, and the tradition of the summer blockbuster was born. Memorial Day often kick-starts the summer movie season. The heat starts to creep in, and film fans head off to watch the best movies of the summer.

Need help with your AC?

A branded Jon Wayne service truck parked in the driveway of a two story home.

At Jon Wayne, we stand for integrity, honesty, and convenience. Because we get the job done right the first time, you can rest easy knowing that the cool indoor temps you're enjoying are here to stay. To get help with new unit installation or fast, 100% satisfaction guaranteed repairs, contact us for service today.

Schedule Service

Proudly serving the San Antonio & surrounding areas: