Staying Cool Through the Centuries

wind catchers
The summer of 220 A.D. was hot in Rome – very hot. The Emperor at that time, a sixteen year old named Elagabalus, decided to cool things down by having his army transport tons of snow from the mountains and pile it in a great mound just outside his villa. In addition to lowering the temperature in the immediate vicinity, the Emperor could have all the iced drinks he wanted. He was killed in 222 A,D. when the army revolted.
snow mountain


Mankind has been trying to cool off in the summer since the cavemen, who after all, lived in caves, where the temperatures were fairly constant throughout the year. The Romans used the aqueducts to bring the snow melt from the mountains to Rome, where some of the wealthiest circulated the cold water through pipes in the walls of their houses to cool the inside rooms.


The Persians cultivated gardens on their roofs to decrease the heat absorption and built interior gardens with large, shallow pools. The water evaporated rapidly, lowering the inside temperature.


Egyptians and other countries in the Middle East developed “wind catchers“, roof ventilators that would let in the breezes and channel the cooler air down to the dwellings, while pushing the hot air out.
wind catchers


In 180 A.D. a Chinese inventor, Ding Huan, created the rotary fan, powered by slaves. Japan came up with the folding fan, which eventually spread to Europe and became an important accessory in every lady’s closet.


nicola teslaBut cooling systems didn’t get much farther until the 19th century and the harnessing of electricity. Then Nicola Tesla invented motors using alternating current, making mechanical fans possible.


This was followed shortly by the invention of the first air conditioner by Willis Carrier in 1902. The first one was built to control humidity in a printing plant, but the obvious benefits of temperature control led to further development and the public introduction of air conditioning in 1925. By providing comfortable interior environments in even the hottest parts of America, Carrier’s invention has changed the world.


There are three basic types of air conditioning


* Mechanical – Ding Huan’s rotary room fan, which was improved by adding water power.


* Evaporative cooling – blowing air through wet sheets or pads


* Refrigerant – a gas, usually a fluorocarbon, is pumped through compressor, then condenser, then is allowed to evaporate, converting the gas into liquid and back to gas, while transferring heat from inside to outside.


In London, Ontario, Canadian Comfort Heating and Cooling Systems has been providing the finest in air conditioners for twenty-four years, from Carrier, the world’s leader in air conditioning and the company formed by Willis Carrier in 1915.
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