Without air conditioning, we'd all be covered in sweat from June to August. Gross. But we don't often think about the units in our homes, offices and cars that make summer bearable. This is everything you need to know about where it came from and what you need to do to keep costs as low as possible this season.
Back in 1902, Carrier was an engineer at a New York publishing company looking for a way to control humidity in the building to help ink dry faster. He called his invention the "Apparatus for Treating Air" and received a patent for it in 1906.
That's when systems similar to what we use in homes today first hit the market. And, not surprisingly, in only a matter of three years more than one million units were sold.
Since cool air can't carry as much moisture as warm air, the act of lowering the temperature of a room also draws the moisture out of it. While ACs aren't as effective as dehumidifiers, they do help prevent mold and mildew growth.
Not only will these units keep your room cool, but they also remove allergens and other small particles from the air. So if your allergies rev up when the weather warms up, an AC unit will help keep sneezing at bay.
If your AC is a window unit that comes with accordion flaps, foam weather strips ($5, amazon.com), are a cheap and effective way to prevent leaks. Not only will this stop cool air from escaping, but it'll also stop warm air from seeping in, causing you to have to lower your setting.
If you have central air, you should hire a professional to inspect your system once every year to make sure there aren't any inefficiencies you're wasting money on before you start cooling your house for months at a time.
A dirty filter will reduce your AC's efficiency and require more energy to run, whether you have central air or a window unit. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter monthly and plan on replacing it every three months.
Even though central air is a luxury, if you want to save money you should consider going with a window unit. You see, the [link href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/advice/a25798/save-money-air-conditioning/" target="_blank" 0="data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"" link_updater_label="external_hearst"]smaller the unit, the less energy, which means less you'll have to pay for at the end of the month.
If your room gets direct sunlight, the sun will increase the temperature of the space and require your AC unit to work harder to keep it cool — which will wear heavy on your appliance over time. That's why you should keep your curtains and blinds closed as much as possible during the day.
We know, shocking. Instead, this will just cause stress on your system and require it to work harder, which could lead to maintenance problems in the future. If you want to cool your room more, try using a fan.
The recipient was Charles "Spend-a-Million" Gates, the heir to the barbed wire fortune, who lived in Minneapolis. Sadly, Gates didn't get to enjoy his cool mansion because he died on a hunting trip before it was completed.
Summer was a brutal time to run the country before Hoover came into power. He spent $30,000 on the system, even though only months before the Stock Market Crash of 1929 happened, starting the Great Depression.
You see, households didn't have AC during the Great Depression — but movie theaters did. So people would go to the movies to cool down and, as a result, studios started releasing their biggest films during the summer.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans spend more than $22 billion and use more than 183 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to cool their homes every year. Yikes.
Road trips were even more brutal around 80s years ago. It wasn't until Packard Motor Car Co. developed a precursor to the modern car system, that cars could cool themselves in the heat.