A/C Cornerstones

-The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was one of the first buildings to have air conditioning in it.

-The first record of the idea of air conditioning was attributed to British scientist Michael Faraday, who discovered in 1820 that by compressing and liquefying ammonia gas, one could chill an adjacent substance (such as air) when the ammonia was allowed to evaporate, paving the way for the modern air conditioner.

-Herbert Hoover was the first President to enjoy air conditioning. He spent $30,000 to install the system in the oval office, just after the start of the Great Depression.

-Closing air conditioning registers (aka – air vents) in unused portions of the house to save money on electricity is an urban myth. It actually increases utility cost due to the decrease in HVAC system efficiency that it causes, and increases the likelihood of an AC breaking down due to increased pressure on the compressor.

-On the East Coast, summers can be brutal, but did you know that before the advent of air conditioning it was thought that summers were too hot for children to learn effectively, which is why we have “summer break” in our schools?

-The top three energy expenditures in the commercial industry are lighting, commercial heating and commercial air conditioning.

-When AC systems were introduced into the marketplace, they didn’t have SEER ratings, or Energy Star® standards. Since virtually everybody used blocks of ice to keep things cold prior to AC units, they measured the output settings for AC units in ‘Ice Power’ – or how many blocks of ice it would take to produce the same cooling power.

-The Romans were the first civilization to use any kind of air heating system and they also had heated floors in the winter.

-The first modern air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier with the intent of keeping temperatures and humidity low for a publishing company in New York, making their paper a more consistent product.

-Ceiling fans are good at making your skin feel cooler, allowing the comfort temperature of a room to be kept higher, but do not aid the air conditioning system at all. As such, turn your fans off when not in a room to decrease your utility bill.

-The film industry releases it’s big pictures in the summer because when air conditioning was a new technology, movie theaters were some of the only places to have them.  It became a part of the American culture to go to the movies in the summer, and the summer blockbuster was born.

-A properly maintained air conditioning system will last 10 to 15 years, on average, depending on manufacturer and proper installation.

-A variable speed heat pump can decrease energy costs by as much as 40 percent in the average American home.

-The first air conditioners and refrigerators employed toxic or flammable gases, such as ammonia, methyl chloride, or propane, that could result in fatal accidents when they leaked. Thomas Midgley, Jr. created the first non-flammable, non-toxic chlorofluorocarbon gas, Freon, in 1928.

-You can decrease utility costs by increasing the efficiency of your home; if properly insulated, a home can increase it’s efficiency by over 30 percent.

-Scientists have found that people who live in an air conditioned environment loose some of their natural tolerance for heat.

-The first fully air conditioned home was built in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gates, heir to the barbed wire fortune.

-It is estimated that the amount of energy used just on air conditioning and heating in the United States exceeds the total amount of energy used in the entire continent of Africa.

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