5 Fun Facts About Air Conditioning

Air conditioning, to some, may not be the most interesting subject in the world.

We disagree. Not just because we live and breathe AC, and are experts on HVAC systems. But because there are actually some fairly cool facts out there about AC.

If you’re still not convinced, read on – we’ve got lots to share with you.

1. Before Air Conditioning, There Was… Ice

Let’s go back before the age of AC. Hot here, isn’t it?

Before we all had AC in our homes, a Boston businessman called Frederic Tudor had a great idea. His business carved huge blocks of ice out of New England’s lakes when they froze over in winter.

These were then shipped to warmer states, insulated with wood and sawdust, to help keep buildings cool.

2. Ice Power

The original unit of measurement to rate the effectiveness of an air conditioning system was the ‘Ice Power’ scale.

This lined up against the number of ice blocks which would be necessary to create the same cooling effect.

It’s quite hard to visualize how many ‘blocks’ of cold air a system is pushing into a home. So the metric has largely died out.

3. The First Fully Air Conditioned Home

In 1914, a very lucky and well-off gentleman named Charles Gates became the first person to install an air conditioning unit in his home. Though ‘home’ is something of an understatement for his Minneapolis mansion.

In unrelated trivia, Charles was the son of John Warne Gates, who made his money manufacturing barbed wire.

Perhaps his son found his father’s products useful, to keep less fortunate people out of the cool indoors his mansion promised!

4. Which President First Installed AC in the Oval Office?

Pop quiz. Which president was first to have AC in the Oval Office?

Herbert Hoover is the answer. He probably didn’t make himself altogether popular with the decision, as it cost $30,000. In 1929. Right after the start of the Great Depression.

So Hoover stayed cool while many Americans were struggling to afford bread. Not, in retrospect, the wisest decision ever made for the sake of political popularity.

Moreover, his successor Franklin D. Roosevelt wasn’t even a fan of the system, often refusing to use it at all.

5. AC Saves Us From the Heat – Literally

AC has been credited with a reduction in the number of deaths on hot days in the USA. In fact, it has been suggested that the systems have cut premature deaths on hot days by a massive 80% since 1960.

Cooling systems have come from their early and icy days, to brilliant modern systems. They aren’t just convenient, but can be life-changing for the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

Need Help With Your HVAC?

Air conditioners are great – unless they’ve gone wrong. Thankfully, we’re here to sort yours out if it’s out of sorts.

If you’re in need of a repair or replacement for your air conditioning system, or just want it tuned up before summer, get in touch.

Our experienced team will make sure you stay cool.

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