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The History Of Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative cooling has been cooling people off in the summer heatwaves for many thousands of years! The evaporative cooling or airconditioning process has evolved from many ancient practices of fanning water-filled pots, to today’s modern, functional and efficient evaporative cooling systems. Let's learn more about the history of evaporative cooling over time.

In early Ancient Egyptian times, we are able to find wall paintings depicting slaves fanning large, porous clay jars filled with water. This essentially is a very, very early form of evaporative cooling. Can you imagine having to fan a pot of water to get cool? No thanks!
Moving forward a step, many wealthy Romans circulated water from aqueducts through the walls of their homes to maintain a cooler air temperatur in the heat. The common people of Roman villages survived the heatwaves by simply hanging wet mats over the doors of their tents or dwellings, inviting a cooler, fresher breeze.
During the medieval times in the ancient Middle East, the first man-made evaporative cooling structures were becoming apparent. They consisted of towers that trapped wind and funneled it past water at the base and into a building. This in turn kept the building cool at all times.
The very famous Leonardo DaVinci had a large input in the development of evaporative cooling. As one of the greatest revolutionary minds, he further improved the concept of evaporative cooling systems through his sketches of water and energy. This is explained in more detail on our Timeline Of Evaporative Cooling page, so have a quick look!
During the 1800s, New England textile manufacturers began using water evaporative systems to cool the air in the mills, as the heat during the summer months would become unbearable. This solution was also used by settlers in the 1920's and 1930's in western America, to keep cool. An ancient technique? Yes. A functional one? Certainly!
In 1902 Willis Haviland Carrier made a breakthrough in climate control. He invented the very first modern electrical air-conditioning unit for industrial plants in the United States Of America.
Almost 15 years later, the first 'swamp cooler' (commonly known as an evaporative cooler) was implemented in the Adams Hotel in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona in the USA.
Currently, we are becoming far more environmentally aware of our surroundings, and for this reason many companies have attempted to restructure evaporative cooling products to run more efficiently.


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