Plumbing & HVAC History
 

The History & Future of Plumbing & HVAC

Posted on November 21, 2018

This Thanksgiving we should all be grateful for the amazingly comfortable life we enjoy in the good old USA. At the risk of making this sound like one of those, “I walked 10 miles to school uphill both ways” kind of stories, do you ever stop and think about how easy we have it these days? It wasn’t too many generations ago most people, even here in the desert, lived without central air conditioning and heating. A few generations before that, outhouses were as commonplace as running water and modern plumbing were fairly recent innovations.

When it comes to heating homes and buildings, it would be tough to credit any one person as the inventor of modern HVAC systems. There was a natural progression in home heating that can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. It wasn’t until the 19th and 20th centuries that heating progressed to the burning of oil-based products and a system of fans and ducts to circulate the heated air.

The history of air conditioning is a little bit easier to document. Willis Carrier is generally credited with inventing the electric air conditioner in 1902. It took many more years for it to become widespread and affordable to for the average family. It became more popular during the postwar economic boom of the 1950’s. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that central air took the place of window units.

If you’re wondering about the commode, and we’re sure you’re curious, the first flushing toilet was invented in 1596 but wasn’t widespread until the middle of the 19th century. Many rural homes in America were without running water well into the 20th century.

What’s the purpose behind this little history lesson? Your friends at General Air Conditioning and Plumbing want to talk a little bit about what the future of home comfort systems might look like. For example, did you know we can install a self-cleaning toilet in your home right now? They were introduced a few years ago, but were prohibitively expensive. That’s no longer the case.

Even more exciting is what’s ahead in the world of heating and cooling. As you might imagine, the focus is on making HVAC even more energy efficient than it already is. Here are just a few things that are on the drawing board and may be viable in just a few years:

  • Thermally driven air conditioning
    • This is already being used on a small scale by a company in Australia. This uses solar energy supplemented by natural gas. The design eliminates the need for electricity to cool your home.
  • Motion activated air conditioning
    • This uses sensors hung from the ceiling on metal rods. When movement is detected the AC turns on. Conversely the system doesn’t send as much conditioned air to areas of the home that are unoccupied.
  • 3-D Printed air conditioners
    • This may seem a little far-fetched, but the technology has advanced rapidly in just a short time. If the trend continues this could become a reality.

Whatever home automation technology is used to heat and cool our homes and reduce pollution, you can rest assured the General’s troops will stay on top of the latest developments. Just one more reason they call us, “The best little air conditioning and plumbing company in the desert.” Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.