The Gifts of Air Conditioning | Air Conditioning Appreciation Days
March 6, 2021
Most of the year, you probably don’t appreciate air conditioning, but when temperatures are in the 90s or higher, AC is on your mind all the time. While it’s easy to take for granted, when it stops working, we all realize just how crucial it is. That’s why July 3rd to August 15th is known as Air Conditioning Appreciation Days.
According to the National Academy of Engineering, air conditioning and refrigeration is in the top 10 most important inventions of the 20th century. This comes as no surprise since air conditioning not only boosts economies, and improves comfort and wellbeing—it also saves lives!
Without air conditioning, we’d all be a lot sweatier, smellier, and probably living in Canada. Let’s take some time this summer to appreciate air conditioning by remembering all it has gifted us with.
The Gifts of Air Conditioning
1. Summer Blockbusters
Before air conditioners became ubiquitous, people would escape the blistering heat by going to the movie theater. Since movie theaters were one of the first industries to utilize air conditioning, patrons would flock to the movies during the summer months to enjoy the films and the cool, conditioned air.
Since production companies and marketers knew this, they would save their biggest and best movies for the summer months. So, thank air conditioning for summer blockbusters, and for keeping us cool while we enjoy them.
2. Population and Economic Growth
Many historians credit the rise in population and economic growth to the widespread use of air conditioning. In fact, air conditioning was first invented to improve the efficiency of a New York printing press by reducing humidity, which was warping the paper and preventing the ink from drying properly.
In the 1920s, movie theaters, department stores, and restaurants introduced air conditioning to their establishments to lure customers in—and it worked.
3. Less Heat-Related Fatalities
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States (U.S. EPA). Hot temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and also contribute to heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
And if you think it’s bad now, imagine life before air conditioning. Air conditioning was invented in 1902 and it took another 60 years or so for it to become widely adopted in homes and businesses. The Chicago (1933-34) and New York (1939-40) World’s Fairs first introduced citizens to the wonders of domestic air conditioning.
The huge decline in heat-related deaths over the past century can be explained by the adoption of air conditioning. According to a recent study, heat-related mortalities in the United States fell 75% since 1900. Most of the decline took place after 1960 when residential air conditioning became more widely adopted.
4. More Cities, Especially in the South
Cities in Arizona, Florida, Texas, and other states simply wouldn’t exist without air conditioning. Since temperatures are often above 100 degrees for months at a time, people would not only find these places extremely unpleasant, they would also be life-threatening.
The reason why cities in southern states have flourished is due almost entirely to the rise of air conditioning. If you live in a state that experiences hot weather, you should appreciate air conditioning for your ability to live and work there. If you live in cooler, northern areas, thank air conditioning for the extra comfort and the fact that your city would be a lot more crowded if we didn’t have these other places for people to call home.
5. Better, Cheaper Food
Air conditioning allows us to cook meals throughout the summer. Without it, we would be stuck with salads, fruit, and other cold dishes.
As the world continues to heat up year after year, let’s give thanks for air conditioning, the engineers who invented and improved it, as well as the technicians who take care of them. We should all be very happy that we aren’t dripping in sweat right now.
How to Appreciate Air Conditioning
- Get annual professional tune-ups
- Check your air filter every 30 days and replace it when it’s dirty
- Give your air conditioner a break by using fans and other cooling methods
- Keep your blinds, curtains, ad shutters closed
- Shade your home with trees, awnings, and window treatments
- Properly program your thermostat
- Call a professional when you suspect a problem
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