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The Story of Modern AC & Heating

The Story of Modern AC & Heating


Air conditioning and heating have been around far longer than we give our ancestors credit for. If you were to find an encyclopedia about the innovative cooling and heating technologies, the amount of information would blow your mind.

Cavemen demonstrated knowledge of geothermal cooling by digging holes in the ground. Egyptians used wet reeds hung in windows to help lower the temperature of the breeze. Multiple Asian ethnicities used fans while the Greeks are said to have invented ductwork.

Each and every civilization had their own way of keeping cool or warm, but the modern AC that we know was invented much later in time. We would like to take a look at how our AC technology came about, how it works, and how to determine the age of a unit. Keep reading for more information!

How The First Air Conditioner Came About

inventionWillis Carrier is the person who is credited with inventing the modern AC in 1902.

He was actually working to reduce the humidity in a publishing house because the paper was absorbing too much moisture.

By working to end the humidity problem, he inadvertently created what we know as air conditioning.

The Inner Workings of Your AC

The majority of people don’t care to understand how their air conditioner works. It is quite unfortunate because this major appliance provides your home with such an amazing service. Most air conditioners have two main parts: one that is located inside–either in a closet, an attic, or a basement–and one that is located outside. Here is how they function:

  • hvacAir handlers are the inside component of your AC. The two most important pieces of this unit are the blower and the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil has refrigerant inside.
    As warm air blows over the coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and expands to a gas. The air is cool at this point and the blower is able to move the air through your ductwork. The refrigerant that is no longer a liquid cannot absorb any more heat and is sent via a conduit to the condenser.

  • Condensers are the outside portion of your HVAC system. Once the refrigerant gas arrives, it is compressed back into a liquid, releasing all heat. The fan located inside of the condenser is responsible for blowing the heat away from the unit, to keep things from overheating.

Nothing Lasts Forever

oldAs much as everyone would like for their AC to last forever, the sad truth is that it does not. Air conditioners have a lifespan of 10-15 years on average.

This does not mean your unit is guaranteed to fail at 10 years or make it to 15–it is simply what is most common. If you were the person that purchased your AC, you probably have an idea of how old it is.

However, if you bought an older house without finding out the age of the air conditioner, all hope is not lost. You can take a look at the serial number of the unit for an indication of the week and the year that it was built in.

There are usually multiple numbers listed on a serial number, but the string of 4 numbers in a row is what you want. If the number looks like 1222, it is safe to say that the unit was probably not built in 1912, 1922, or 2022. Instead, it is more likely that your AC was manufactured in the 22nd week of 2012.

Call Superior For Installs & Information!

If you just realized exactly how old your air conditioner is or you know that the unit is on its last leg, it is a good time to start shopping for a new one! Call Superior Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical Inc. for information about proper sizing and our installation services. We would love to help you with your newest HVAC unit!

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