The central A/C or ductless mini-split in your home has a fascinating history.

history of ac It’s hard to imagine getting through a sweltering summer in Lewes, Dover or Chestertown without a well-functioning air conditioning system. At Poore’s Propane and Oil, we install and service cooling systems for homes of all shapes and sizes. Our trained, seasoned HVAC technicians know A/C equipment inside and out.

You might be amazed at the rich history of how today’s air conditioning systems were invented.

Early Forms of Air Conditioning

Long before people kept cool with electric air conditioners, the roots of artificial cooling formed:

  • Ancient Persia had some of the earliest cooling solutions. The bâdgir, or windcatcher towers, drew overhead breezes downward and funneled the cool air into dwellings. These towers are still visible today!
  • In the 19th century, a Florida doctor named John Gorrie worked on several solutions to cool hospital patients. One of his plans involved shipping ice from the north, and another involved a compressor that would be powered by water, horses, sails or steam.
  • Stuart Cramer, a North Carolina textile mill engineer, coined the “air conditioning” in 1906. Cramer had over 60 patents associated with humidity control and ventilation.
  • The invention of Modern Air Conditioning

    In the early 20th century, Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographic and Publishing Company in Brooklyn faced a problem. Sweltering hot summers were wreaking havoc on their printing operations. They turned to a young experimental engineer named Willis Carrier. He developed a system that used coils filled with cold water. A fan blew air over them. This device lowered humidity and relieved overheated workers and machinery.

    By 1922, Carrier had created the smaller, safer Centrifugal Refrigeration Compressor. His technology gained popularity in movie theaters, which promoted themselves as places to escape the summer heat.

    If the name Carrier seems familiar, it’s because his company Carrier Global is still a leading manufacturer of HVAC equipment.

    How A/C Gained Popularity Across the Country

    In 1929, Frigidaire developed the first cooling system small enough to be used in a home. It was too expensive for most families, though. In the 1930s, General Electric began creating even smaller units, and General Motors synthesized chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) coolants, which made A/C safer but were later discontinued for their negative environmental impact.

    Soon, window air conditioners hit the market, and central A/C systems soon followed. By the 1960s, houses were being built with central A/C in mind.

    Poore’s may not have invented A/C — but we’ve perfected A/C installation!

    Whether your central Delmarva or eastern Pennsylvanian home has ductwork or not, the Poore’s Propane and Oil team can find a cooling solution that matches your needs and budget. We handle air conditioning installations for both central air equipment and ductless mini-split systems. Our HVAC team can also help you qualify for rebates and energy efficiency tax credits.

    We offer comprehensive air conditioning service plans that ensure annual maintenance, priority service and discounts on repairs.

    If your current A/C is struggling, contact Poore’s for a free, no-obligation consultation.