1. Before the air conditioner, businesses as well as schools would take a summer break. The heat in the buildings would simply be too much to work a full day. Even though most schools, like businesses are now air conditioned, they still stick to the summer break schedule.
2. The amount of energy used by the United States to power our air conditioners is equivalent to all of the energy used by the entire continent of Africa.
3. While home air conditioners were virtually unheard of, air conditioners were common in movie houses during the great depression. This resulted in crowds flocking to the cool air of the movie house. This is why huge big budget blockbuster movies are released during the summer months.
4. The air conditioner has dramatically changed the way we design homes. Before air conditioning, homes were built with high ceilings, breezeways, sleeping porches, and landscaping that provided shade. All of these features helped keep homes cool, but have virtually been abandoned today making it harder to cool our homes when we lose power.
5. Since the 1960’s, 60% of the economic growth in the United States has been in the South. This is the result of air conditioning. Before the air conditioner cooled down and dehumidified the South, major businesses preferred to stay North where they were the cooler temperatures made things like printing and wool dying more consistent.
6. The first concept of air conditioning occurred around 500 years ago. People in Persia built wind towers to try to get the same effect as air conditioning. These towers were rigged with wind scoops to catch prevailing breezes. Internal vanes circulated that air throughout the buildings while forcing hot air out. This was especially handy considering the 100+ degree temperatures they encountered on a regular basis during summer.
7. John Gorrie is considered the father of refrigeration and air conditioning. He was a doctor in Florida, and in 1842 developed a machine to make ice. He used the ice to create cool air for his patients. He envisioned that his ice making device could be used to cool homes and other buildings. He was granted a patent in 1851. He lost his financial backing and died a pauper in 1855.
8. Packard was the first automobile to have air conditioning as an option in their cars in 1936.
9. Studies show that humans who grow accustomed to living in a cool, air conditioned environment lose their natural tolerance for heat.
10. The development of effective temperature control and refrigeration has revolutionized almost every aspect of industry. Without AC, the following things would be virtually impossible: the manufacture of computers and chipsets; data storage centers; the production, delivery, and storage of food; pharmaceutical manufacturing; and chemical manufacturing.
11. It’s even helped us live longer. AC allowed for exponential advances in medicine and human life expectancy. Air-conditioned hospitals helped defeat malaria, decrease infant mortality, inhibit bacteria, and advance developments in surgery.