Summer swelter: Persistent heat wave breaks records, spirits

From the normally chilly Russian Arctic to the traditionally sweltering American South, big swaths of the Northern Hemisphere continued to sizzle with extreme heat as the start of summer more resembled the dog days of August ...

Deaths of 3 women in early heat wave raise questions, fears

Temperatures barely climbed into the 90s and only for a couple of days. But the discovery of the bodies of three women inside a Chicago senior housing facility this month left the city looking for answers to questions that ...

Research team develops wood-based foam to keep buildings cooler

Summertime is almost here, a time when many people try to beat the heat. But running air conditioners constantly can be expensive and wasteful. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Nano Letters have designed a lightweight ...

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Air conditioning

Air conditioning refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort. In a broader sense, the term can refer to any form of cooling, heating, ventilation or disinfection that modifies the condition of air. An air conditioner (often referred to as AC or air con.) is an appliance, system, or mechanism designed to stabilise the air temperature and humidity within an area (used for cooling as well as heating depending on the air properties at a given time), typically using a refrigeration cycle but sometimes using evaporation, most commonly for comfort cooling in most buildings and motor-cars.

The concept of air conditioning is known to have been applied in Ancient Rome, where aqueduct water was circulated through the walls of certain houses to cool them. Similar techniques in medieval Persia involved the use of cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season. Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier.

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