How air conditioning gave us skyscrapers, President Reagan and saved countless lives

CBC News
A cat sits on an air conditioning unit CBC News | James Alexander Michie

A cat sits on an air conditioning unit at a home in St. Joseph, Mich., in this 2014 file photo. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium/The Associated Press)

Air conditioning is the process of removing heat and humidity from inside a space occupied to improve the comfort of the occupants. Thus, air conditioning can be used in both domestic and commercial environments. This process is most commonly used to achieve a more comfortable indoor environment, typically for humans and other animals; however, air conditioning is also used to cool and dehumidify rooms filled with electronic devices that produce heat, such as computer servers, power amplifiers, and to display and store some delicate products, such as works of art.

Now, a study from the United States emerged which found that air conditioning reduced heat-related mortality rates by 80 percent.

An invention that constantly changes the world

There is no doubt that today, during the days of suffocating heat waves, many people probably take for granted the air conditioning, one of those modern conveniences that make both the visit to the mall, life at work and the Sleeping at home is a little more pleasant.

Even so, it is necessary to indicate that air conditioning has been a lifeline for countless people and, as some suggest, an invention that changes the world.

In fact, the economist and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford said in a 2017 interview with The Atlantic, “Air conditioning reshaped the world.”

Likewise, it is clear that air conditioning also changed the way buildings were built, sparking the construction of tall skyscrapers, where air conditioning can provide fresh air to upper floors that draw heat, Harford said. In addition, as computers are vulnerable to heat, air conditioning has allowed the server farms to thrive.

Similarly, Harford noted in an essay for the BBC, air conditioning has driven the economy, in part by making people more productive, allowing them to work more and better. And it has also had an impact on demographics, he wrote, stimulating the development of cities in countries with unbearable heat, such as Dubai and Singapore.

Read more.

Source: Mark Gollom | CBC News

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