ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 4

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EDITORIAL
Editor
Jay Scott
jayscott@ashrae.org
Senior Managing Editor
Sarah Foster
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Associate Editor
Rebecca Matyasovski
rmatyasovski@ashrae.org
Associate Editor
Jeri Alger
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Associate Editor
Tani Palefski
tpalefski@ashrae.org
Associate Editor
Mary Kate McGowan
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Associate Editor
Courtney Payne
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W. Stephen Comstock
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ASHRAE OFFICERS
President
Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng.
President-Elect
Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E.
Treasurer
Michael Schwedler, P.E.
Vice Presidents
K. William Dean, P.Eng.
Malcolm Dennis Knight, P.E.
William F. McQuade, P.E.
Farooq Mehboob, P.E.
Secretary & Executive Vice President
Jeff H. Littleton
POLICY GROUP
2019 - 20 Chair
Publications Committee
Chee Sheng Ow, Ph.D., P.E.
Washington Office
washdc@ashrae.org

4

ASHRAE JOURNAL

ashrae.org

Jay Scott

Technology So Good It's Taken for Granted
ASHRAE is celebrating its 125th anniversary during the 2019-20 Society
year. ASHRAE Journal kicks off a series of
historical features on the industry with
a first article this month recognizing
five developments of the 20th Century
that deeply affected our lives but are
now taken for granted.
The article explores "some technology we invented, used or improved so
well that, outside our technical community, pretty much no one appreciates how good that technology works
to keep us warm or cool or provide a
vast variety of safe food at our finger
tips, efficiently and affordable," the
author writes. "Everyone takes it all for
granted. Insulted? Don't be-it means
we HVAC&R engineers have done our
jobs very well."
THE FIVE TAKEN-FOR-GRANTED
developments on which the author
focuses are the electric motor, automatic heating, household refrigerators, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants
and the window air conditioner.
The author points out that the window air conditioner benefited from
the development of the first four
innovations.
Sealed motor compressors, initially
developed by the household refrigeration industry, were adapted for
packaged air conditioning. Automatic
control by thermostat was applied to
central AC systems with the technology downsized and simplified for
packaged equipment. The creation of

chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants made
it possible for placing air-conditioning
equipment directly into a living space.
Noting the success of the household
refrigerator, the industry was enthusiastic over the possibilities.
By the 1930s, companies were beginning to combine cooling and heating
technology for central air-conditioning
systems that were automatic and circulating filtered, tempered air to all the
rooms in a house, office or business.
However, these central systems were
too expensive for most people.
Enter the window air conditioner, a
relatively low-cost method to spot-cool
rooms in a home.
SLOWED AT FIRST by World War II,
the concept of window air conditioners
began to flourish as competition and
mass production brought down the
cost such that comfort air conditioning became more affordable for more
people. The window air conditioner
led to the "democratizing of the air
conditioner, as the Model T Ford did
for automobiles," the author writes.
Forty-eight thousand units were
sold in 1946 as the industry rapidly
converted back to peacetime production. More than 100 million units have
been produced in the United States.
Worldwide, nearly that many room air
conditioners are now sold each year.
Window air conditioners are now so
commonplace that consumers take
their value for granted.
Enjoy the issue.

Mission Statement: ASHRAE Journal reviews current HVAC&R technology of broad interest through publication of application-oriented articles. ASHRAE Journal's editorial content ranges from back-to-basics features
to reviews of emerging technologies, covering the entire spectrum of professional interest from design and
construction practices to commissioning and the service life of HVAC&R environmental systems.
S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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ASHRAE Journal - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - September 2019

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - 11
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ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - September 2019 - Cover4
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