A History of Air Conditioning

Popular Mechanics has a fun timeline of air conditioning.  Given that it is the middle of summer and I live in Texas, I can’t imagine living without A/C. It is sometimes easy to forget that the first home-based air conditioning unit was installed for the first time 100 years ago “in the Minneapolis mansion of Charles Gates” and was “approximately 7 feet high, 6 feet wide, 20 feet long and possibly never used because no one ever lived in the house.” In 1970, only 36% of U.S. households had air conditioning. This percentage rose to 68% by 1993 and 87% by 2009 (this includes 81.6% of poor households). It also takes less energy in homes today, dropping to under 50% of U.S. home energy use. And to think no one before 1914 had one. 

So, enjoy your A/C along with an extra dose of gratitude.

1 thought on “A History of Air Conditioning”

  1. Europeans are weird about A/C. Most of them are convinced it will kill you, especially if it is blowing directly on you.

    Asians are also weird about A/C. My coldest two night’s sleep ever were on buses in and out of Goa, India. They would refused to turn the A/C off or even turn it down. And at the movies in Thailand I nearly had to walk out of Robocop just to warm up.

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