Air conditioning is an essential part of your life, but it wasn’t always that way. Since 1960, 60% of economic growth in the U.S. has resulted from air conditioning, allowing people in the South and West to live and work in hot climates all year. Keep reading to find out more about the history of home AC units.
The general concept of air conditioning was invented earlier, but it wasn’t until the late 1940s that the first popular home air conditioner hit the market. Earlier units were either too large for residential use or too expensive for homeowners. When the first popular window air conditioner hit the market in 1947, it sold tens of thousands of units and brought AC to homes everywhere.
The 1970s Energy Crisis
Residential AC units did a good job of keeping homes cool, but the 1970s energy crisis led to a shift in the focus of air conditioner manufacturers. With new efficiency standards set by the Department of Energy, air conditioner manufacturers started working to create more efficient ACs for homeowners. You can thank this shift in manufacturing for the affordable monthly cost of running a modern home AC.
The R-22 Phase Out
R-22, the refrigerant that was used in many older air conditioners, was eventually phased out because of the harm it causes to the environment. As of 2020, the only R-22 refrigerant that can be purchased is recovered, recycled, or reclaimed R-22. This phase-out has led to AC manufacturers using different types of refrigerant in modern air conditioners.
Modern Air Conditioners
Today, there are tons of different types of air conditioners available. You can choose between window ACs, portable ACs, ductless mini splits, and central AC units. You can also find all sorts of different efficiency ratings, and the Energy Guide label can help you figure out how much you can expect to spend to run an AC for a year.
There was a time when people didn’t have AC at home, but it’s an affordable and convenient option for any homeowner these days. If you have an outdated home AC, you could be spending more than you should on your monthly energy bill. Contact Wilson Heating and Air Conditioning to get your AC inspected and find out if you need repairs or an upgrade today.