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History of an Air Conditioner

Quick Summery for Quick Read:

  • Air Conditioning Appreciation Day: 3rd July

  • Father of Air Conditioner: Willis Carrier

  • First Model of Air Conditioner: Created in 1902 to solve humidity issues in a printing plant.


Why Indians Want AC More Than Ever:

  • Rising temperatures are driving the increased demand for air conditioners in India.

  • Cooling electricity consumption grew by 21% from 2019 to 2022.

  • 10% of India's electricity demand is for cooling.

  • The International Energy Agency forecasts that air conditioner ownership in India will increase nine-fold by 2050.


The Growth of Air Conditioning:

  • 1920s: ACs introduced to movie theatres, popularizing "summer blockbusters."

  • 1930s: ACs enhanced comfort in department stores and offices.

  • Post-1945: Window units made ACs affordable for homes, transforming lifestyles.

  • Late 20th century: Advances in central air, energy efficiency, and eco-friendly refrigerants improved environmental impact.


In the sweltering summer months, we work inside an office, gather for events, and get good night's sleep when, in fact, the temperature outside is 35 to 50 °C. In this high temperature, we have the habit of turning on the air conditioner, but do we even know when an air conditioner was invented and why? I guess we are more interested in the cool breeze that AC gives in hot summers. Let's honor the inventor of the air conditioner by exploring its innovative history. This thing wouldn’t have happened without an air conditioner.

Reason behind Indian wants AC now more than ever:

Reason behind Indian wants AC now more than ever is increase in temperature every year. Since 2010, air conditioner ownership in India has tripled, with 24 units per 100 households, driven by rising temperatures and increased incomes. From 2019 to 2022, electricity consumption for cooling has grown by 21%, with nearly 10% of India's electricity demand now attributed to cooling needs. The International Energy Agency forecasts that household air conditioner ownership will increase nine fold by 2050, surpassing the growth of other appliances.

Man behind the innovation:

This invention emerged when Willis Carrier, a skilled engineer, began experimenting with the laws of humidity control to solve a problem at a printing plant, preventing paper from expanding and contracting. In 1902, his efforts led to the creation of the first modern air conditioner. Willis Carrier also known as “Father of Air Conditioner”.

The Growth of Air Conditioner:

Carrier’s invention of air conditioning quickly found new uses beyond factories. In the 1920s, movie theatres started using air conditioning, making them more comfortable and leading to the idea of the "summer blockbuster." By the 1930s, department stores and office buildings also had air conditioning, making shopping and working much nicer.

After 1945, air conditioning started booming in homes. New, smaller, and cheaper window units made it possible for regular families to have air conditioning. By the 1950s, many American homes had air conditioning, changing how people lived and setting new comfort standards.

The second half of the 20th century brought big improvements in air conditioning technology. Central air systems, energy-efficient units, and eco-friendly refrigerants were introduced. The focus shifted to making air conditioners more energy-efficient and reducing their environmental impact.


Air conditioning is one of the most transformative inventions in history, reshaping our daily lives by making cities more comfortable and enhancing our overall quality of life. New technologies, like smart AC systems, further improve our comfort with automated temperature control.

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