Welcome back to our three part series on how air conditioning has revolutionized the way we live. Last time, we talked about the extremes people used to go to when they wanted to stay cool, how the air conditioner was invented (it wasn’t to stay cool) and how it became introduced to the average citizen. Today, we’re going to take a look at how air conditioning has shaped the very fabric of our modern society.
When the southern United States was being developed, architects would build houses with large, open corridors running through them, known as dogtrot houses, so that the breeze could cool off it’s occupants. Nowadays, we have large, glass skyscrapers in the South. Before the invention of air conditioning, it would be intolerably hot to go to the top floor of such a building; nowadays they’re everywhere. Modern cities like Dubai, known for its extravagant architecture and high-rise buildings, simply couldn’t exist without air conditioning; there’d be no way to cool off such tall structures in the desert heat. To cool off buildings, we used to have to use heavier materials to insulate us from the heat, and our windows would never face sunward; now we can open the blinds and catch rays any time of the year.
People can be very tempermental when it comes to the temperature; the image of a dad yelling not to touch the thermostat comes to mind. Computers, though, are even more sensitive to changes in ambient heat. They need cool, dry environments to run at their best, and they generate an incredible amount of heat themselves; like most things, the more powerful the computer is, the more heat it might produce. This is why a society without air conditioning is unthinkable – you literally couldn’t be reading this without it! Large server farms, like those owned by Amazon, can run because of the power of air conditioning. This means when you’re sitting at home in 95 degree weather, watching Netflix, decide to order a pizza online and it comes to you from a driver with not a drop of sweat on him, you have air conditioning to thank for your entire day. There’s no question about it, air conditioning has shaped modern America.
Think back to before air conditioning, when we would have to take naps during the hot afternoon. Think about how family gatherings were different, how daily activities changed, how the comfort of a cool home has really benefited you. Air conditioning has not only played a part in our comfort and shaped our society, it’s shaped our very demographics and changed how we live. Join us next time when we explore the economic and social impacts that our humble cooling device has had, and remember, if your society shifting device is giving you troubles, or you just want to do an AC check-up, get in touch with the qualified air conditioning contractors at Classic Air Conditioning.