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Appreciating the Evolution of Modern HVAC Systems

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air conditioning installation on rooftop

Air conditioning is probably one of the frontline achievements in technology today. However, not many people know or appreciate how these useful pieces of equipment came to be. Air conditioning has a rich history that dates back to the 1700s or correctly put the 18th century. This history is laced with engineering breakthroughs and pure ingenuity.

Ding Huan

Ding Huan is one the earliest inventors credited with HVAC inventions. His story dates back to the second century in China while putting finishing touches on his archaic rotary fan. Because of the fact that this fan was manually powered, his invention did not have much of an impact until it was picked up in the 740s by Liang Tian.

Liang Tian was an employee of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty. Using Huan’s idea, Liang constructed a cool hall inside the emperor’s palace that was fully equipped with water-powered fan wheels. Following this invention, the rotary fan became common place for many Chinese people who are looking for ways of cooling off.

Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley

Franklin together with John Hadley were doing an experiment on the evaporation of volatile substances including ether and alcohol in order to help lower objects temperature below freezing. Using billows which were pointed at the bulb of a mercury thermostat to help speed up the reaction, the two men evaporated the ether and alcohol which lowered the bulb temperature from 64 all the way to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. They then noticed a thin ice layer forming on the bulb which Franklin concluded that it is possible to freeze the air even on summer days.

John Gorrie

He is the father of the first mechanized AC built in 1830s. Gorrie wanted a solution for yellow fever and malaria in Florida and the solution according to him was to cool patients’ rooms. The initial design of his mechanized AC was a steam powered air compressor which slowly siphoned air through metal pipes to create basins of ice which were hung on the ceiling of patients’ rooms. In 1851, his refrigerator was patented. He died in 1855.

Willis Carrier

On a drive to solve a humidity problem at Brooklyn, Willis Carrier left a legacy as a Father of Cool. During the time, the exceedingly warm temperatures and humidity disrupted operations in the



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