Tools and Equipment

Carrier AC Compressors Have a Rich History

The Carrier Company is famous for its high quality cooling systems and the commercial grade Carrier AC compressor is considered to be one of the finest made compressors in the industry. However, did you know Willis Carrier is credited with inventing air conditioning, and you, your employees and customers have much to thank the man and his company? Let’s take a look at the rich history and story behind the business.

Just after the turn of the 20th Century, Willis Carrier was a young 25 year old engineer working for the Buffalo Forge Company in Brooklyn. The company was well-known for their heaters, fans and forges. Willis had already came up with exceptional plans for a coffee dryer and lumber kiln, but when he worked on a production problem a local printing company was having, something extraordinary eventually occurred.

Here is what happened. The printing business was having major problems with excess humidity. In fact, the moisture was wreaking havoc with their color ink for printing. They needed to do something about the humidity to keep an important magazine client.

Humidity reduction was nothing new and there were several ways in 1902 to do this. However, the printer wanted a way to control humidity levels and this required something innovative. In order to better understand the problem, Willis Carrier conducted his own study and testing procedures. At this time, there was no such thing as a Carrier AC compressor, but this would soon change.

Early tests and experiments failed but Carrier persisted. He knew he had something with his metal coils but also needed a way to eliminate rust. At first, artesian well water was used for refrigerant but it was soon replaced by ammonia. Before long, the machine was keeping the humidity in the print shop at a comfortable and profitable 55 percent. In fact, ammonia was long used as refrigerant and is still one of the best refrigerants available. However, due to ammonia’s toxicity it was eventually replaced by less toxic Freon.

In 1906, Carrier discovered the “law of constant dew point compression”. This is an important principle in refrigeration. In 1907, Carrier applied for a patent on his automatic temperature control system. When the First World War broke out, Carrier’s employer devoted all efforts to the War and so with six other engineers, the Carrier Engineering Corporation was born. It has survived many things including the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, and today each high quality Carrier AC compressor carries with it, this amazing story.

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