HVAC is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
Besides being a fun conversation starter between fellow technicians, HVAC facts can make the topic more appealing to homeowners.
Whether you’re searching for a neighborhood AC repair service or looking for your next residential heating system, here are nine HVAC facts we’re sure you’ll find interesting.
- 1 1. The first building with air conditioning
- 2 2. Romans invented the first heating systems
- 3 3. The air conditioner was invented in 1902
- 4 4. The first residential AC unit was massive
- 5 5. The White House didn’t have air conditioning until 1929
- 6 6. The first car with air conditioning was introduced in 1939
- 7 7. Air conditioning has several health benefits
- 8 8. Closing air vents don’t save energy
- 9 9. The largest HVAC system in the world
1. The first building with air conditioning
Shortly after the invention of AC, the New York Stock Exchange became the first building to use an air conditioning system. It was designed by Alfred Wolff, an engineer from the city. The system had three ammonia absorption devices, generating a total cooling capacity of approximately 450 tons of ice.
2. Romans invented the first heating systems
The first heating system – the hypocaust, was created in Ancient Rome. The designation comes from hypo (under) and caust (burnt). It was used to heat baths but also residential buildings of rich Romans. The system used a furnace and a series of pipes through which hot air could flow.
3. The air conditioner was invented in 1902
The invention of the air conditioner is credited to Willis Carrier, who designed a system to
solve humidity issues at a New York publishing company. Supposedly, Carrier was inspired by a thick layer of fog at a train station. Carrier’s machine could effectively automatically heat or cool water and air.
4. The first residential AC unit was massive
In 1914, engineers managed to install the first residential AC successfully. However, the machine was massive: it measured seven feet in height, six feet in length, and 20 feet long. It could fit inside a moderate-sized living room. Back then, a unit of this size would’ve cost $10,000, or $120,000 adjusted for inflation.
HVAC facts can make the topic more appealing to homeowners
5. The White House didn’t have air conditioning until 1929
Did you know that the White House only received its first AC unit in 1929? The order was carried out by President Herbert Hoover.
The system was replaced with an updated and more powerful system in 1934, during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s term. However, Roosevelt was not a fan of it and kept it off most of the time.
6. The first car with air conditioning was introduced in 1939
Packard was the first car manufacturer to offer air conditioning in its vehicles, or “weather conditioners”, as it was called. The systems were fitted by Bishop and Babcock Co. and were popular from day one. However, due to its high cost, regular maintenance, and mechanical issues, the first car ACs were discontinued in 1941.
7. Air conditioning has several health benefits
Air conditioning doesn’t just help keep us cool; it also has many additional benefits, including health improvements. For instance, office buildings with AC have better productivity, contributing to the happiness of employers. Additionally, HVAC systems help remove dangerous pathogens, chemicals, and allergens from the air.
8. Closing air vents don’t save energy
Contrary to popular belief, closing your HVAC system’s air vents doesn’t save you energy. It does the exact opposite! Closed vents can lead to excess pressure, damaging your ductwork and lowering your equipment’s efficiency. In severe cases, closed vents can completely break down your HVAC unit.
9. The largest HVAC system in the world
The largest HVAC system is a centralized cooling station in Shenzhen, China. This project is meant to cool the city through a municipal cooling network. The ten cooling stations will have approximately 400,000 tons of cooling capacity, covering an area of approximately 190 million square feet. This is over twice as large as the second biggest in the Holy Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.