Impress Friends, Strangers and Romantic Partners with Your HVAC Facts
While having reliable, high performance air conditioning and heating is critically important to Southlanders throughout the year, many people are not aware of the fascinating history that accompanies your HVAC system. Nor do most folks appreciate the huge social and economic impact this equipment has wrought in the last 100 years, changing where we live, how we work and even how we move around. Like the smartphone or the automobile, HVAC is an idea that has changed the world.
Here are some fun facts to share the next time a conversation takes an awkward turn towards politics, religion or your neighbor’s son getting a new tattoo above his eyebrow. Believe us, these topics come in handy!
In 1929, air conditioning was first used in the House of Representatives. Imagine all the hot air that gathered there before HVAC! It was finally brought into the White House along with the Senate building in 1929. While the first residential HVAC system was installed in 1914, its enormous size (7ft by 6ft by 20ft) and practical costs precluded its widespread use until a streamlined version was introduced in 1947. By the early 1960s, most new homes were built with HVAC, and as of 2009, a report from the Energy Information Administration stated that more than 87% of all American homes had heating and air conditioning. That’s 100 million people, and the number of users has grown significantly ever since.
Heat-related premature deaths have fallen by 80% since 1960, according to a study conducted by researchers at Tulane, Carnegie Mellon, MIT and the Natural Bureau of Economic Research. That’s all about air conditioning, folks. Sadly, temperature related illness is still a risk for some, especially among the elderly and those without access to HVAC. On hot days, please check on your neighbors, relatives and friends who might not be using their air conditioning correctly, or staying properly hydrated. Heat can and does injure otherwise healthy adults every year.
Air conditioning changed the populations of states like Texas, Arizona and Georgia, bringing millions of people and billions of dollars to areas like these. Prior to air conditioning, the most successful economies were in the Northeast, since bustling summer productivity was largely untenable. Consider Florida, where the population grew from 2.7 inhabitants in 1950 to over 19 million today.
Most public transportation would not be possible without HVAC. Modern air conditioning makes conditions tolerable underground and inside buses, subways and trains for millions of people worldwide. Anyone who has used the subway in any major city in July can attest to the value of strangers not sweating next to you. Next time you’re standing on an underground train platform, take a moment to reflect on the way this equipment, largely unseen and unnoticed, keeps people comfortable as they go about their business and their lives.
So let us cast a heartfelt thank you to the late Willis Carrier, the inventor of modern air conditioning. While he shuffled off this mortal coil in 1950, his legacy lives on. And here’s to a healthy, happy summer for all!
Is it time for an AC tuneup? Call Air-Tro, the family-owned heating and air conditioning business trusted by Southlanders since 1969 for all their HVAC needs. Voted 2023’s Reader’s Choice for Best HVAC Contractor and Favorite Heating and Air Conditioning Company by San Gabriel Valley residents! (626) 357-3535.