Air conditioner mounted on a white wall

Did you know that Herbert Hoover was the first president to have air conditioning? Why do we call films “summer blockbusters”?

Most of us haven’t thought about how air conditioners came to be and how these devices have impacted our lives. At Budget Climate Control, our Albuquerque AC repair specialists have gathered 12 fun facts about air conditioning.

12 Fun Facts About Air Conditioning

1. Herbert Hoover: First President to Have AC

Yes, that’s right. Between 1929 and 1933, President Herbert Hoover installed an AC system in the Oval Office. He spent $30,000 on this system. An average person’s income in 1930 was $1,300.

2. First Fully Air-Conditioned Home Built in 1913

In 1913, a mansion built by Charles Gates was the first home to provide air conditioning throughout the house. It was located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unfortunately, Gates died before the mansion’s completion.

3. Output Used to be Measured in Ice Power

Much like cars use horsepower to measure output, air conditioners initially used ice power to measure output. This equated the amount of cooling a unit produced to the number of ice blocks it would take to make the same effect. Now, we call this measurement AC unit.

4. Packard Introduced the First Air-Conditioned Car

Released in 1939, the Packard 180 was the first car to have an air conditioning option. Unfortunately, not many sold due to its high price. Plus, many people didn’t like that the AC system took up half the trunk.

5. “Summer Blockbuster” Came From Air-Conditioned Theaters

Movie theaters were one of the first industries to install air conditioners. Back in the 1930s, most people didn’t have air-conditioned homes. That’s why many people packed into theaters during the summer to catch a break from the heat.

Savvy studios noticed this trend and released their sought-after films during the summer. It’s from this practice that “summer blockbuster” was coined and became a staple of our film vocabulary.

6. Summer Breaks Thanks to Lack of AC

Before air conditioning, children and teachers found it too hot to be in school. In fact, many affluent families in the mid-19th century left the city during the summer for cooler locations. This meant there was less school attendance during the summer months.

In trying to standardize a school calendar across the US, schools decided to close during the summer. Thus, summer break was born.

7. Air Conditioning was Invented for Ink and Paper

Air conditioning was not invented for how we use it today. Willis Carrier invented the first AC for a New York publisher. The problem that needed to be solved: controlling ink and paper humidity. The humidity made the paper expand and shrink, and the heat made the ink run.  

Air conditioners solved both these problems by moderating the temperature and humidity levels.

8. Air Conditioning Saves Lives

Heat-related deaths have dramatically fallen over the last 50 years. In fact, American researchers found that heat-related deaths have fallen by 80% due to the increased usage of air conditioners.

9. More American Homes Have AC Compared to Canadian Homes

In 2011, 88% of new single-family homes contained air conditioners. In 2013, only 55% of Canadian homes had AC. Many believe Canada’s colder climate keeps its residents from needing air conditioning.

10. Air Conditioning Spurred Arizona’s Population Boom

Between 1950 and 1970, Phoenix, Arizona’s population increased by 347%. Among contributing factors were the widespread use and installation of evaporative coolers.

In 1946, the Goettl brothers created a Phoenix-based evaporative cooler manufacturing business. This business became the biggest manufacturer of this type of AC. With cooler homes and buildings, people flocked to Arizona to begin their new lives.

11. Air Conditioning Helps Medical Medicine

The technology and tools used to make medicines are temperature sensitive. Without air conditioning, we wouldn’t be able to keep these tools cool enough to create life-saving medications.

12. ACs Help Us Control Indoor Allergies

Due to the filters used within AC units, indoor allergens are significantly reduced. In fact, air conditioners reduce exacerbation for people who have asthma. The critical thing to remember is to change these filters every 30 to 90 days. Clogged filters recirculate dust and pollen.

Who to Call When Your AC Needs Repair

At Budget Climate Control, our highly knowledgeable Albuquerque AC repair technicians can quickly diagnose and repair any of your air conditioner’s issues. We specialize in different systems and warranty our work to give you peace of mind.

So, if you’re in need of AC repair in Albuquerque, contact us today!