Did you Know #DYK: Cool fun facts about air-conditioning you probably didn’t know

posted in: Did You Know 0


#DYK: Cool fun facts about air-conditioning you probably didn’t know

My earliest memory of experiencing the euphoria of air-conditioning was in my folks (19 something) orange Volksie Kombi on our annual trip down to Kei Mouth on the Wild Coast.


This luxury was provided via a foot pedal that opened a hole in the side of the kombi. Problem was the temp was controlled by the temperature on the outside, though you could increase or decrease the ‘fan’ strength depending on how hard or softly you pushed this pedal.


I suppose the earliest air-conditioning for man happened in Egypt some 5000 years ago between 3000 and 30 BC. where slaves were bought and ‘plugged-in’ to provide cooling through brilliantly decorated hand fans often sporting feathers.

Mother Nature has been using innovative ways of combating heat for millennia.

Take the termites for example:

Termites use an intricate system of channels, chimneys and air pockets, to keep their mounds cooled even in the hottest environments. The reverse also applies, keeping the interior warm in the coldest of nights


There are many examples of biomimicry in the air-conditioning field. (Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.)

  • Ventilation Inspired by Termites
  • Counter current Heat Exchange Inspired by Birds
  • Moisture Absorption Inspired by Ticks
  • Efficient Fans Inspired by Tornadoes and Whirlpool
  • Efficient Fans Inspired by Whale Flippers


Air-conditioning plays a major role in controlling our environment and keeping us comfortable and healthy. It enables us to inhabit extreme environments and provide comfort and safe living conditions. It not only controls the temperature, but also can manipulate humidly to remove pathogens.

Some interesting facts:

  • In 1736, the English House of Commons was cooled by a seven-foot, hand-cranked “blowing wheel,” which acted as a giant fan. The man at the helm of the crank was called the Ventilator.
  • The first ice-making machine was patented as early as 1851, but the invention was smothered by American ice interests for decades due to an extensive network that stored and transported ice from northern regions.
  • 1902: Willis Carrier invented the first air conditioner reminiscent of today’s models. The machine de-humidified and cooled the air so paper would stay smooth and the ink fresh. This machine had the ability to cool air significantly and lower humidity levels by nearly 55 percent.
  • Herbert Hoover was the first President to enjoy air conditioning. He spent $30,000 to install the system in the oval office, just after the start of the Great Depression
    At 130,000 tons, the (Integrated District Cooling Plant) IDCP is the world’s largest district cooling plant used to cool the island of Qatar.


The South African Aircon & Refrigeration Industry is vibrant and involved in many varied and interesting building avenues. This industry will continue expanding exponentially as the development of rural areas increases.

To date there have been over 250 Air-conditioning tenders published this year.


To view these tenders: Please visit Leads 2 Business to view the latest Air-Conditioning Tender

How to make the most of our Tenders?







About George Harris

I started my incredible journey at Leads 2 Business in 2006. I am the Content Director, custodian of an amazing research team responsible for unearthing hidden gems of information.