Who Invented Air Conditioning?

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Who Invented Air Conditioning?

The air conditioner has become an essential part of everyday life for most people around the globe. What has become a daily essential was not invented until the advent of the 20th century. Before the air conditioner was invented, homes were built with thicker walls, providing insulation from outside temperatures. During the American Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, factories started to have temperature-related issues in manufacturing. These issues were particularly problematic in paper factories.

The Sackett & Wilhelms Company in Brooklyn, New York, was one such printing factory that was running into issues with its color printing process. The varying temperature and humidity of the factory were causing the paper to contract and expand, resulting in deviations of the ink on the paper. This problem was leading to an increase in scrap materials and overall production costs.

Willis Carrier: The Inventor of the Air Conditioner

In 1902, the Sackett and Wilhelms Company approached a team of engineers from a company called Buffalo Forge, based out of New York, to solve the temperature and humidity issues at the paper factory. This company specialized in heating and cooling solutions. One of the engineers who worked for the company was Willis Carrier. He was given the task of designing a cooling system for the Sackett & Wilhelms Company. Willis was originally from Angola, New York. He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Willis Carrier developed a cooling system that formed the foundation of the air conditioner. The concept of the cooling system was to allow cold water to flow through heating coils to cool and dehumidify the passing air. This concept helped reduce the humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. This design by Willis Carrier was installed in the paper factory, along with a series of fans and other heating and cooling devices to control the temperature. The invention by Willis Carrier was successful, and he became the inventor of what came to be known as the modern air conditioner.

The success of the cooling system at the Sackett & Wilhelms Company made Willis Carrier realize the potential of his invention. Over the next five years, he further improved the technology and design of the components of his cooling system.

The Carrier Air Conditioning Company

With the success of the invention by Willis Carrier, Buffalo Forge decided to create a separate company focused on just air conditioning products. This company was called the Carrier Air Condition Company of America. This company was created in 1907, by which time Willis Carrier had become one of the senior management professionals at Buffalo Forge.

Willis Carrier went on to write several papers on air conditioning. One such document titled the “Rational Psychrometric Formulae” was presented to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1911. This document was extremely well-received and used to accurately correlate humidity and temperature readings. In the following years, Carrier became the leading supplier of air conditioners for residential and commercial properties.

Carrier Engineering Corporation

By 1913, World War I had begun, and the world economy was going through a turbulent phase. Buffalo Forge decided to dissolve Carrier Air Conditioning Company, but Willis Carrier pressed forward and formed a new company in 1915 named the Carrier Engineering Corporation. By 1924, the Carrier Engineering Corporation had rolled out several innovations in the air conditioner to allow it to be used in a variety of applications, including inside movie theaters.

The Legacy of Willis Carrier

Willis Carrier went on to start Samsung Applications and Toyo Carrier in Korea and Japan. South Korea remains the largest manufacturer of air conditioners in the world. One of the biggest impacts of the invention by Willis Carrier was the great migration of Americans to the Sunbelt region. In 2018, Carrier Corporation employed more than 53,000 people and had a revenue of over $18.6 billion.

Air Conditioning Service and Repair

For all types of air conditioning service and repair services in Washington, Oregon, or Colorado, you can turn to us at Bruce Mechanical. We offer residential and commercial services, including repairs, replacements, maintenance, installation, and 24/7 emergency services. At Bruce Mechanical, we are proud to have gained the reputation of a trustworthy heating and cooling service provider. Not only do we offer the best in technical services, but our team also provides personalized customer service so that our clients can have a hassle-free and pleasant experience working with us. Call us today at Bruce Mechanical to schedule any type of air conditioning service.