We recently ran across a blog about the history of air conditioning that sparked our interest. Joe Brooks wrote about the progression of temperature regulation on helium.com, and motivated this post.
Humans have always been concerned with regulating their temperature. Not only is temperature an issue of comfort, it is more importantly an issue of survival. Before human beings developed indoor living spaces, they regulated their temperatures by adapting clothing that promoted either the heating or cooling of their bodies.
Once civilizations began living indoors, the challenge turned to modifying the temperature of their living quarters. Some of the more ingenious civilizations like the Persians and Romans used pools of water within their dwellings that would cool through evaporation. This technique works better if there is a breeze, so they utilized wind towers to push air into the buildings. The Romans even utilized their advanced aqueducts to run water through their walls and cool their buildings through heat transfer.
As humans advanced their knowledge and reached the 1800’s, refrigeration became available through deadly substances like ammonia. Humans even tried using chlorofluorocarbon gases in the 20th century to help with refrigeration and air conditioning needs. It was eventually realized that the use of these gasses was destroying the ozone layer and harming our environment.
Fortunately, with advances in technology, modern high efficiency air conditioning units are available for homes and businesses that do not use gases that harm the planet we live on. Even though the methods of temperature moderation have advanced exponentially over the course of human existence, there are still changes to be made. However, the goal remains the same, maintain a temperate habitat.