It’s hard to imagine living in the Mojave Desert in the early 1900’s where temperatures reach 100 to 115 degrees for 3 months straight. Makes you wonder if a place like Summerlin and Northwest Las Vegas would have still had 1.5 million residents and 4 times that in annual visitors. Makes you wonder if Bugsy Seigal is the real godfather of Las Vegas or is it Dr. William Cullen.
Who is Dr. William Cullen you ask. He is the scientist that pioneered modern refrigeration. His work in the mid 1700s paved the way for modern air conditioning that we desert dwellers have come to count on.
Dr. Cullen experimented with liquids and there reaction under a vacuum. He discovered how liquids would cool as they turned to vapors. These discoveries paved the way for those that would follow him in creating freezers, refrigerators, and finally, environmentally comforting air conditioning systems.
In 1805, Oliver Evans, an inventor created a working refrigerator. Its crude wooden box design was the first functioning, purposeful design of an electric cooling mechanism. Using belts, pullies, and motors you can imagine these units were about as noisy as a Tonka truck inside a washing machine.
It took more than a century for household refrigerators to catch on. While refrigerators were gaining
popularity in households, a man named Willis Carrier would use the same technology to create the first air conditioning system.
Carrier was in the cool climate of Buffalo, NY when he made the AC system. Wonder if he ever dreamed that millions of households and businesses around the world would one day use his invention.
Air conditioning has come a very long way since Willis Carrier’s 1902 debut. The science is the same; but the methods and efficiency of cooling is an ever changing and evolving industry.
Air Conditioning manufactures like Trane, Carrier, Amana, York, Lennox and American Standard are constantly pushing out new product lines in their attempt to build a better mouse trap. This competitive framework sets the stage for new technology and improvements.
There have been several noteworthy advancements in air conditioning systems over the past 50 years, even more so over the past 10 years. SEER rating has taken center stage on these advancements. 20 years ago, air conditioners were installed with little regard for how much energy the system used to create cool air.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio ratings tell us how costly our power bill will be with a particular system installed. The higher the efficiency the lower the electricity consumption. Today, even the basic central air conditioning systems sold are hardly basic at all. The 13 and 14 SEER systems widely sold these days are 2 to 3 times less costly to operate than AC units sold 10 to 20 years back.
For those with deeper pockets, there are even more options available. Top brand AC manufactures offer 16 to 24 SEER systems. As with all premium technology, these systems can cost 50 to 200% more than their 14 SEER counterparts.
In the coming years we should expect many more advancements in the field of efficient comfort sustaining air conditioning systems.