The Cool Facts About Air Conditioning
When it comes to air conditioning, most people think they only need to know one simple thing - that it cools down their home in the warm months of summer. But there are a lot of other things worth learning, and taking the time to learn some basic facts could help you get the most from your AC unit. And along with those useful facts, some things concerning air conditioning are simply surprising.
Here are a few of the coolest facts about air conditioning.
- Central heat and air units, or HVAC, are size matched to a home just like those window units people add to a home. The larger the home, the larger the AC unit will need to be.
- Figuring out the right size AC unit is done through BTUs, which stands for British Thermal Units. For every 500 square feet in your home, you'll need around 12,000 BTUs. If you have a 1,500 square foot home, for example, you'll need 36,000 BTUs.
- Larger home central air units are often referred to by their tonnage, not their BTU levels. 12,000 BTUs is also the equivalent of one 'ton'. The name comes from the old days of cooling, when blocks of ice were used to provide air conditioning. These older machines actually relied on ice, and for every ton of ice melted a unit was applied.
- Adding celling fans or oscillating fans is a good idea since it can help move the cool air around the house more effectively, getting better results.
- Despite what a lot of people think, an AC unit doesn't simply pump loads of cold air into your house. Instead, it pumps the warm air out, then cycles warmer air back inside. The main way the system works is through the removal of the warm air.
- Air conditioning was actually invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier. The machine was designed to remove humidity and lower temperature in a publishing company's storerooms to keep paper from becoming damaged by humidity changes. It wasn't until later that it was used for comfort.
- With that in mind, it makes sense that a big part of today's AC units is the fact that they can reduce humidity effectively.
- Prior to the advent of air conditioning, schools, businesses, and even the government would slow down or take much longer breaks in order to dodge the heat. That's why today's schools still go on 'summer break' - it's a holdover from the days of no air conditioning.
- AC also helped the southern states become larger players in the economy. Prior to AC, the northeast was the main economic region in the country. Once air conditioning was popularized, the populations in the southern states grew and since then 60% of America's economic growth has occurred in the south.
Air conditioning has played a major role in so much that it may surprise you. Learning more about it can help you gain a deeper appreciation of it, but it can also help you choose the right unit for your home.