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Contribution of Willis Carrier: The Father of Modern Day Air Conditioning

Aug 17, 2007
As we turn on our air conditioners, we hardly think about how difficult life could have been without the particular device. Seldom would we think about how the ingenuity and tenacity of an individual gave us one of the most widely used tools in the modern age.

Man's quest to understand and control the ways of nature has been there from time immemorial. Be it the building of dams or the effort to predict the weather by reading the barometric pressure. One significant way in defying the effects of nature was the invention of the air conditioner. It gave us the tool to control our environment, no matter what the weather is like outside. And that w have such capabilities these days can be attributed to the genius of one man - Willis Havilland Carrier. He was the person who invented the Carrier air conditioners.

Air conditioners are not only used for our comfort but are integral to many processes which otherwise would not have been possible. For example, some operations would require a definite temperature to be maintained. Certain chemical and pharmaceutical production is also dictated by the temperature we maintain. Even conserving the great works of art is hugely facilitated by air conditioning.

It is alright to research about the kind of air conditioner you need, the brand that is most trusted and the style that will go best with your room decor, but it is equally important to take proper care of the unit for it to remain efficient, perform at its peak ability and last long.

Although there were several previous attempts before Carrier, it was he who was first successful in making a machine that was able to control temperature and humidity and at the same time could regulate the circulation of the air and maintain its cleanliness. He called the device as the 'Apparatus for Treating Air'. Later it was rechristened as the Carrier Air Conditioner.

The fundamentals of the working of the air conditioner have remained the same from the time of Carrier. A low pressure centrifugal system was used to draw in the air through the filter. This was then passed over coils which contained a stable, non-toxic coolant. Once the air was cooled down and dehumidified it was let out through the ducts. This is pretty similar to how the present day air conditioner works. Of course there have been variations and improvements in the technology. But the core that was provided by Willis Carrier still remains today.

The 'Apparatus for Treating Air' was patented in 1906 and the Carrier Air Conditioning Company was established in 1907. However it was not before 1942 that the Carrier Air Conditioners were widely used for domestic and commercial purposes.
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