A Look at the Impact of Air Conditioning on Modern America
Air-conditioning is a part of modern life that most of us take for granted – but without it, we’d be spending a lot more time outdoors and fending off the heat and biting insects that come with summertime in most regions. How has air conditioning changed the way we live, where we shop and how we work and play?
3 Ways Air Conditioning Remade America
Kids and Playtime
50, 60 or 70 years ago, kids played outside in the summer for more than just exercise. Homes were simply too hot during the day to stay indoors, so kids across the country opted to play outdoors instead. From the streets of New York, where children could frolic in open fire hydrants and sprinklers to the rural Midwest, where ponds and lakes made perfect swimming holes for kids of all ages. For many kids, it was simply too hot to stay indoors; makeshift outdoor play areas were the best – and only – option.
Nostalgia aside, the advent of in home air conditioning allowed families to sleep, play and spend time indoors in comfort. Air conditioning played a role in changing the ways we relate to our communities as well; whole families could be found outdoors on summer evenings in the past, from impromptu block parties to late family nights in the local park; homes were often simply too hot to enjoy until well after dark.
Booming Hot Weather Economies
The advent of air conditioning created a booming economy in hot weather climates. Florida, Arizona and the Carolinas all saw a huge increase in the number of retirees and “snowbirds” once air conditioning made the year-round heat more tolerable. A broken AC in a Southern or hot climate city is a true emergency; immediate HVAC repair in Atlanta or other hot places is a must for both health and comfort.
By 1966, Texas had become the first state to have more than half the homes cooled by air conditioning and saw a resulting boom in population and industry. The ability to comfortably work indoors allowed workers to perform more efficiently and in less stringent conditions as well.
From the different silhouettes of the towering office buildings visible in virtually every city skyline to the indoor shopping mall, air conditioning changed architecture permanently. Single storefront Main Street and general stores were replaced by the large shopping malls we use today, complete with cooled, comfortable environments. Movie theaters, office buildings and even hospitals have permanently changed to embrace visitor comfort, with air-conditioning and plate glass windows allowing guests a clear view of the outdoors without the bugs and heat that come with summer weather.
The modern conveniences enjoyed by most of us today – including the ability to go from air conditioned home to air conditioned car to air conditioned stores or workplaces are largely due to the advent of affordable and functional air conditioning. Looking to revamp or improve your own air conditioning? Our HVAC repair specialists are here to help when you need us most!