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Even though air conditioning as we know it today is a relatively recent phenomena, an argument could easily be made that the professionals at AIRzona Heating and Cooling Comfort Solutions are carrying on a tradition that stretches back thousands of years. After all, there is historic evidence that the ancient Greeks had devised methods for beating the heat and cooling the home (or temple).

It is a common lament, the expression of wishful thinking about returning to a simpler time. But in all honesty would we really want to return to outhouses, crank starting our cars, party line telephones and biting the bullet before surgery? Would we really want to endure the heat of summer in the Colorado River Valley with nothing more than a fan and strips of damp burlap hanging in the doorways?

In the ancient Roman Empire wealthy citizens had their houses designed with flues that allowed for cool water to flow the walls and floors. According to legend, the emperor Elagabalus had mountains of snow transported from the mountains to his home during the months of summer. In the second century a Chinese visionary created a large, ceiling mounted rotary fan that was turned by hand using a series of pulleys. In the Middle East buildings were built with windows facing north or south to avoid the harsh sunlight that heated a home.

As late as the last decades of the 19th century cooling had improved little since the days of the Roman Empire. In 1881, after the assassination attempt, President James Garfield on his death bed was given an ever so slight respite from the sweltering summer heat in Washington, D.C.’s with a device similar to the historic Chinese fan that blew air through cotton sheets that wicked ice water. Purportedly before his death more than half a million pounds of ice was used in just a few short weeks.

Electricity changed everything. With Nikola Tesla’s development of alternating current inventors created motors to power oscillating fans. Then in 1902, Willis Carrier, a young engineer in New York City, took the concept to the next level, developed a mechanical unit which forced air through water cooled tubes to control humidity in the printing plant where he was employed. In 1922, Carrier perfected invention of a central compressor, condenser and fan unit that made its public debut at the Rivoli Theater in Time Square in New York City on the last weekend in May, 1925.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today we can live in the Colorado River Valley during the months of summer in comfort, if our air conditioner is in peak operating condition. Contact the professionals at AIRzona Heating and Cooling Comfort Solutions and have your system serviced today. You don’t want to return to that simpler time of fans and damp burlap.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America


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