Get to Know Your A/C: Willis Carrier

As an Atlanta resident, we know that one of your most loved possessions, whether you realize it or not, is your air conditioner. But how much do you really know about that fabulous invention that keeps you cool during the hottest and stickiest of Georgia days?

If you wanted to thank someone for the modern marvel that keeps you cool, it would be Willis Carrier, the inventor of the modern day air conditioner. It’s no surprise Time magazine named him one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

It’s said that Carrier’s inspiration for AC struck him while waiting at a foggy train station. He realized while waiting in the mist that by passing air over water, he could create dryer, cooler air.

Carrier was born in Angola, NY in 1876. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in engineering in 1901 and was hired by the Buffalo Forge Company in the same year. Ironically, Buffalo Forge was mainly a heating company but Carrier was so good at making their systems run more efficiently that they named him their chief experimental engineer.

As engineer, he was asked to develop a dehumidifier for a printing shop in Brooklyn, NY. The heat created by the printing presses made the air so humid at times that it made the ink run on the pages being printed. In his design for the shop, air passed through a filter and over coils containing a coolant. This is pretty much the same way that air conditioners still work today.  Carrier gained the patent for his “apparatus for treating air” in 1906.

In 1915, Carrier started the Carrier Corporation, the same company that still manufactures high-quality air systems for people around the world.

The air conditioners his company produced were first used mainly for cooling machines such as the printing press, textile mills, and pharmaceutical labs.  It wasn’t until the roaring 20s that air conditioning made its way into office and retail spaces like the movie theater. The presence of A/C in movie theaters gave birth to the summer blockbuster when people would flock to the theater to escape the heat.

Willis Carrier died in 1950, but his magnificent machine continued to transform the world following his death. After WWII, the air conditioner made its way into residential homes – now, over 86 percent of all homes have an air conditioner. A/C has allowed city growth in hot places all over the world, including metro-Atlanta.

So the next time you’re in a summer blockbuster (or enjoying one from your air conditioned home) give thanks to Willis Carrier for bringing one of the most wonderful devices ever.

And know that when you’re purchasing your next air conditioner that Carrier still leads the way in efficient, reliable heating and cooling products. That’s why we at Gagne are a factory authorized Carrier dealer, both selling and servicing Carrier products.

At Gagne Heating and Cooling, we’re here to help you stay cool with emergency repair services serving Alpharetta, Duluth, Sandy Springs, Buford and all communities in the Atlanta region..

Call us at (678) 221-4328 today to request service.