Who says the HVAC industry is boring? Heating and cooling systems are a part of many Americans’ lives all year round, with summer cooling and winter warming and all of the fun areas in between. So next time you’re at a meet-and-greet and you run out of things to say about the weather, bust out some of these fun facts to impress anyone you meet!
- The first U.S. President to enjoy an air conditioning unit in the Oval Office was Herbert Hoover. He spent $30,000 on it mere months after the stock market crash in 1929!
- The term “air conditioning” was invented by a North Carolina textile manufacturer in 1906 because he believed the system improved the quality of his goods.
- Heating and cooling systems have surprisingly different origins: The Romans developed the first heaters, and the Chinese the first fans.
- Some three-quarters of all electricity used go towards appliances that are turned off.
- The summer blockbuster tradition began because filmmakers knew people liked to seek out the theater’s air conditioning!
- An air conditioner today uses around 50% less energy than one made in 1990.
- Heating and cooling systems that run on solar energy are the most efficient methods of temperature control, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- The first steam heating system was developed in England so that the Governor of the Bank of England could grow grapes in his cool-weather climate.
- Air conditioning is important to the medical field: certain medications that can only be tested in cool environments were developed thank to AC maintenance!
- One of the first structures to utilize air conditioning was the New York Stock Exchange Building in NYC.
- Air conditioning is more common in single family homes than in apartment building units — 89% and 82% of places have them, respectively.
- School summer vacations started because it was too hot to learn! Before air conditioning, governments and other businesses used to take full summer vacations, too.
Who knew heating and cooling could be so fascinating? Since humans love to stay comfortable no matter the weather, there’s a whole history to HVAC that’s a world of weird facts!