Close the Door!

The Easiest Rule To Follow About Your Air Conditioner

Summertime is when you most need your air conditioning unit to operate properly. It’s also, naturally, the time it’s most likely to fail. As with other devices that we have in our home, the easiest solution to problems is often the most overlooked. If you have your air conditioner running, ensure that you have closed all windows and any exterior doors. How many times as a child did you hear a parent chide “close the door! Are you trying to cool off the whole neighborhood?!” or something similar? While you certainly weren’t cooling anyone else off with the escaping air, you weren’t doing your AC any favors either. The harder it has to run, the sooner maintenance may be needed. So don’t forget to close the door! And the windows, too!

Carrier: The Man Behind The Cool

Willis Carrier And The Birth Of Air Conditioning

As the summer months drag on, lets take a moment to reflect on that most comforting of inventions, the air conditioner, and its creator. Drawings for the first modern air conditioner were submitted on July 17th, 1902, by Willis Carrier, about a year after he graduated college. How many of us can claim to have changed the world the first year after college?

Willis Carrier, himself, was born in Angola, NY on November 26th to Duane and Elizabeth Carrier. He studied at Cornell University and received his BS in Engineering in 1901. His initial air conditioning system was designed to relieve a problem at a publishing company in Brooklyn, and added a humidity control to that company’s existing air cooling methods.

Carrier continued to refine and test his work and received a patent for it in 1906. Additional discoveries of methods to maintain constant relative humidity earned him an additional patent in 1914. In 1915 he formed the corporation that bears his name. Unfortunately, the Great Depression and subsequent second World War would reduce the demand for air conditioning. Carrier passed away in 1950 before having a chance to witness the post-war boom of the air conditioning industry.

For more about the man behind the cool, visit

Keeping Cool In The Days Before Air Conditioning

Three Ways People Chilled Out Before Modern Air Conditioning

It’s really hard to imagine a time before air conditioning, especially with summer approaching. recently looked at what people had to do to stay cool in the years before air conditioning was invented. Hopefully, your AC is in good working order or you may have to kick it old school with some of these classic techniques while waiting for a window of service availability.

Large blocks of ice were often cut from frozen lakes in winter and stored in icehouses through spring to keep them ready for sale and use in the hot summer months. The prices were dependent on availability, so ice would be more expensive following a warmer winter.

High ceilings were another technique used to combat the heat, though of course, you had to plan for this while having your home built. It’s common knowledge that hot air rises, so having significantly elevated ceilings did help keep the ground floor much cooler, while windows at the upper level would allow the hot air to escape.

Water fountains in the late 1800s and early twentieth century were not merely the single spout wonder you find near the bathrooms at grocery stores and public libraries. The large trough-like fountains could service several hot thirsty souls at once and some even would dip their heads in for more complete relief. Sounds sanitary, doesn’t it?

For more details and a couple of additional archaic cooling techniques, see: