You might be able to picture it for a little while, but if you start thinking about the extreme-weather months here in Charleston, it gets harder to imagine what life would be like without your HVAC system.
The equipment that keeps you cool & dry during the summer and warm & cozy in the winter is very often overlooked and sometimes taken for granted in today’s modern world. To help broaden your knowledgebase and understand HVAC’s impact on daily living, here’s 7 facts you might not know about HVAC systems.
1. The Iceman Cometh
Simple air conditioning systems used in ancient times utilized ice blocks as the cooling source, with air manually fanned over them to cool different types of areas.
2. The First Residential Air Conditioners Were HUGE
The first home to be fully air conditioned with modern technology (at the time) was in Minneapolis in 1914. It was 7 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 20 feet long! Unfortunately the owner of the home, Charles Gates never got to use it because he passed away before it was completed.
3. Keeping The President Cool Since 1929
Several attempts at cooling the Whitehouse with simple air conditioning systems were made with inconsistent results, but Herbert Hoover finally had a working central air system installed in 1929.
4. Pain In The Architect’s Neck
Before the widespread adoption of whole-home ductwork and central air conditioning, architects designed homes and other buildings with high ceilings, larger windows, broader breezeways and other ways to keep air moving throughout the home. When demand for AC and integrated ductwork increased, the whole industry of architecture had to change to account for modern cooling systems.
5. Window AC Units Cost How Much?!
1932 introduced the world’s first window ledge air conditioning unit — albeit at a steep cost. In today’s dollars it would have been priced between $120,000 to $600,000.
6. Ductless In The ’70’s
Asian manufacturers drive the push toward a fully ductless air conditioning in the 1970’s, mainly due to limited building space for ductwork and to free up windows.
7. “Cool Man”
This one’s just for fun. While not directly related to HVAC, use of the word “cool” (as in “that’s cool!” or “he’s cool”) started in the late 1940’s when jazz musicians used it as a word of approval to describe their music; that jazz was “cool”. It was spread further to everyday use when teenagers started using it in the early ’50’s (to be “cool”).