Dr. John Gorrie invented the mechanical refrigeration system in 1851. This machine created ice by utilizing a horse-powered compressor. These compressors were later powered by steam, wind, and water.
While this invention was definitely significant and life-changing, he did not invent the air conditioner.
Sadly, nothing A/C-related happened for five decades after his compressor invention. People still lived with high (and low) interior temperatures with no control except opening a window or two.
Mr. Carrier, the "Father of the Air Conditioner", should be everyone's hero, as he created the first modern cooling unit in 1902! Carrier was inspired to find a solution to an air quality problem at a factory in Buffalo, NY. Some say that the heat in the building was also causing paper to wrinkle and ink to become runny.
His drawings were turned into a machine which was first installed that same year. He refined his machine and was granted a patent in 1906. His name may sound familiar, as Carrier is a popular air conditioner brand these days. Carrier did not coin the term "air conditioning" (that happens later in 1906 by Mr. Cramer - see below).
This invention led to quality-control measures, and the authorities decided that an A/C unit must perform (4) basic functions:
1. control humidity
2. control temperature
3. control ventilation and air circulation
4. cleanse the air
Today's air conditioners operate on the same science as Carrier's 1933 system, with new technologies integrated.
The term "air conditioning" was patented by a textile mill owner in North Carolina named Stuart W. Cramer. He created an invention to control humidity and make the working conditions bearable in textile factories.
Room-cooling systems introduced in residential settings
The White House is equipped with air conditioning
Window air conditioning units invented
Post-WW2 price drop for A/C units- affordable for everyone (but supply was limited)
Rotary Compressor is invented and the A/C is quieter than ever
Central air is installed in most commercial buildings in larger cities. Many A/C companies form to meet this demand.
Energy-efficient units produce due to modern environmental laws.
86% of US homes have air conditioning.
Over 100 million homes in the US have air conditioning.