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Air Conditioning Time Line

Air Conditioning: The History of a Really Cool Concept


You know how hot and steamy it gets in Florida, but can you imagine living without air conditioning? Until the 1950s or 1960s, the chances were pretty good that people did, in fact, live without AC – in Florida and everywhere else. Fortunately, the evolution of the heating and cooling industry has not only made AC commonplace, but it is also affordable. Take a look at its journey.

  1. 1840

    1840s Florida doctor and inventor John Gorrie thought cooling was key to fighting disease and keeping people comfortable. He devised a system of interior cooling by transporting huge blocks of ice from the frozen lakes and streams of the north to cool hospital rooms. Because it was impractical, he devised a machine that made ice using horsepower, wind-powered sails or steam.

  2. 1851

    Gorrie tried to patent his idea, but because his main investor died, the device never went to market. It did, however, set the stage for what was to come.

  3. 1902

    Willis Carrier, an engineer in Buffalo, New York, was given the job of solving a big humidity problem in a Brooklyn publishing company that made magazine pages wrinkle. He designed and patented his “Apparatus for Treating Air,” which used cooling coils. It could humidify the air by heating water or dehumidify by cooling water.


According to the Energy Information Administration, 87 percent of all American households – about 100 million homes – had air conditioning in 2009, up from 68 percent in 1993. With better-designed, energy-efficient HVAC systems on the rise, those numbers are likely to climb.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC technician employment is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026. If you like those odds, consider enrolling in the HVAC/R Technology program at Florida Academy in Fort Myers.
In as few as four weeks, you can have HVAC skills that you can take anywhere.

Contact Florida Academy today to put your career in motion.

Discover your passion today!

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