The historical development of air conditioning can be summed up briefly, mate.
Central Air Conditioning Systems As part of a heating system using fans and coils, the first basic ice system in the United States, designed by McKin, Mead, and White, was installed in New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 1880. The system blew air through openings under the seats. In the 1890s, a top consulting engineer in New York City, Alfred R. Wolf, used ice at the outside air intake of the heating and ventilating system in Carnegie Hall. Another central ice system in the 1890s was installed in the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago by Buffalo Forge Company of Buffalo, New York. Early central heating and ventilating systems used steam-engine-driven fans. The mixture of outdoor air and return air was discharged into a chamber. In the top part of the chamber, pipe coils heated the mixture with steam. In the bottom part is a bypass passage with a damper to mix conditioned air and bypass air according to the requirements.
Air conditioning was first systematically developed by Willis H. Carrier, who is recognized as the father of air conditioning. In 1902, Carrier discovered the relationship between temperature and humidity and how to control them. In 1904, he developed the air washer, a chamber installed with several banks of water sprays for air humidification and cleaning. His method of temperature and humidity regulation, achieved by controlling the dew point of supply air, is still used in many industrial applications, like lithographic printing plants and textile mills.
Perhaps the first air-conditioned office was the Larkin Administration Building, designed by Frank L. Wright and completed in 1906. Ducts handled air that was drawn in and exhausted at roof level. Wright specified a refrigeration plant which distributed 10°C cooling water to air-cooling coils in air-handling systems.
The U.S. Capitol was air-conditioned by 1929. Conditioned air was supplied from overhead diffusers to maintain a temperature of 75°F (23.9°C) and a relative humidity of 40 percent during summer, and 80°F (26.7°C) and 50 percent during winter. The volume of supply air was controlled by a pressure regulator to prevent cold drafts in the occupied zone.
Perhaps the first fully air-conditioned office building was the Milan Building in San Antonio, Texas, which was designed by George Willis in 1928. This air conditioning system consisted of one centralized plant to serve the lower floors and many small units to serve the top office floors.
In 1937, Carrier developed the conduit induction system for multiroom buildings, in which recirculation of space air is induced through a heating/cooling coil by a high-velocity discharging airstream. This system supplies only a limited amount of outdoor air for the occupants.
The variable-air-volume (VAV) systems reduce the volume flow rate of supply air at reduced loads instead of varying the supply air temperature as in constant-volume systems. These systems were introduced in the early 1950s and gained wide acceptance after the energy crisis of 1973 as a result of their lower energy consumption compared to constant-volume systems. With many variations, VAV systems are commonly used in new high-rise office buildings in the United States today.
Because of the rapid development of space technology after the 1960s, air conditioning systems for clean rooms were developed into sophisticated arrangements with extremely effective air filters. Central air conditioning systems will always provide a more precisely controlled, healthy, and safe indoor environment for high-rise buildings, large commercial complexes, and precision manufacturing areas.