The Origins of Air Conditioning – The History of the Air Conditioner

Although Willis Haviland Carrier created the first version of the modern day air conditioner, methods of artificially creating cool air existed long before he was born.

To keep cool ancient Egyptians would dangle reeds in their windows and had a system where water would drip down the reeds.  As the wind blew across the reeds the water would evaporated and create cool air. You might recognize that this is the same concept behind today’s swamp coolers. Ancient Rome had a system of circulating cool aqueduct water behind the walls of the “Elites” houses. One Roman in particular, Emperor Elagabalus, would send slaves to the mountains to gather snow to lay in his personal gardens. Persians used wind towers and cisterns as ancient air conditioners.

In truth Mr. Carrier himself developed the air conditioner not to keep cool, but rather to help relieve the air of its moisture in his muggy printing office. Carrier later recognized the commercial value of his invention and created the first mass production of Air Conditioners.

While some of the richest Americans experienced air conditioning in their homes and high dollar hotels, for most Americans their first introduction to AC came via movie theatres. Las Vegas’ own El Portal theatre (still around today as an Indian and jewelry shop located downtown) became the first commercial building to have air conditioning

Retrofitting a R22 system with a higher efficiency R410A system

The big question for many homeowners is whether or not you should choose to do this. I am going to try and convince you that one you decide to do this, the bigger issue is making sure it gets done right. Don’t think that we are the only ones facing these issues. Check out what the owner of “Cool Your Air” in Miami has to say to his customers by clicking HERE. From east coast to west, we are all facing these problems.

In our opinion, it used to be cheaper to simply change out your old R22 system with a new R-22 system, but not anymore. The rising costs of the phasing out of the ozone depleting R-22 refrigerant has made the answer to the above question simple: Yes, if you are in need of a complete system change-out you should definitely upgrade your system to the R-410A system. Its higher efficiency ratings and lower operating temperatures, combined with the rising costs of R-22 make it a no brainer. In 2010 manufacturers discontinued making R-22 charged equipment (although they are allowed to sell “dry” equipment). In 2020 the manufacture of R-22 itself will be discontinued. R-22 refrigerant is skyrocketing in price due to government mandated reductions in production, and it is never going to get cheaper.

To help you understand why some things have to be done and why others can’t be done with the 410A retrofit…..​

To retrofit an R-22 system with R-410A system your line set must not be more than 25-50 feet in total distance. If the line set is longer than this, you will have to replace the line set with larger lines. If you are reusing the line set (not recommended if replacement is at all possible) you must flush your system to remove the mineral oil used with R-22 refrigerant as well as any other contaminants. After removing from the path of flow the old filter drier(s) and all existing old equipment (condenser and evaporator), the technician will crimp the outlet of the line set to allow flush to linger longer over the system contaminants.

Once the system has been flushed out with the proper chemical flush, the technician will purge the system with nitrogen, agitating any remaining flushing compound and system contaminants, and pushing them out of your system. The discharge coming from your line sets should eventually show clear.

Next the technician will reinstall your new equipment with new filter driers; they will evacuate the system to boil off any remaining flushing chemicals or nitrogen in the system. After evacuation the system is charged with R-410a refrigerant, and the system is checked for operational performance.

If the old line sets were reused an acid check should be performed before the technician leaves to ensure that there are no traces within your new system.