Category Archives: Air conditioner repair and news

Who invented your favorite household appliance?

May is National Inventors Month founded in 1998 by United Inventors Association of the USA (UIA-USA), the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventors’ Digest Magazine. Do you know who invented your favorite household appliance? Read on to find out.

Who invented your favorite household appliance?

Who invented your favorite household appliance?

The Washing Machine

Alva J. Fisher is credited with creating the first commercially-sold electric powered washing machine in 1908. The machine was called “The Thor” and was produced by the Hurley Machine Company of Chicago, Illinois. It featured a galvanized tub, blades which lifted the clothes as the cylinder rotated and the ability for the drum to change rotation direction in order to prevent the laundry from becoming bunched up into a ball. An electric motor turned the drum.

The Refrigerator

Although refrigeration technology was already being used for industry, especially in food and drink-related industries, Fred W. Wolf of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is credited with inventing the first electrical refrigerator for home use in 1913. The appliance was called the “Domelre,” standing for Domestic Electric Refrigerator and sold for $900.

Wolf used an old fashioned ice box with a mounted refrigeration unit on top which required external plumbing connections. His invention also used a closed system of circulating refrigerant driven by a compressor to cool the hot humid, air.

In 1918, General Motors’ President William Durant bought the Guardian Refrigerator Company and renamed it Frigidaire. It purchased the patent for the Domelre and through its own engineering and manufacturing, introduced improvements to the refrigerator and began mass producing it.

The Oven

British inventor, James Sharp patented a gas oven in 1826 and began to commercially produce gas ovens after installing one in his own house.

Gas cookers became more popular after the invention of the oven thermostat in 1923 which allowed the temperature in the oven to be controlled precisely.

William Hadaway was issued the first patent for an electric oven on June 30, 1896.

The Air Conditioner

Willis Haviland Carrier of Buffalo, N.Y. is credited with creating the first modern air conditioning system and such systems were used in factories, department stores, theaters and in the homes of wealthy people. It wasn’t until 1931 when the first individual in-window air conditioning unit was created by H.H. Schultz and J.Q. Sherman. The units were not wide-spread due to their exorbitant costs between $10,000

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States and utilities offer free air conditioners to those in need

With summer fast approaching, those who are elderly, disabled or have health issues can be severely negatively affected by the heat. Programs run by states, charities and utilities often offer free air conditioners for those who qualify, but it is important to apply early as funds and AC units are often limited.

Window air conditioner

Programs run by states, charities and utilities often offer free air conditioners for those who qualify, but it is important to apply early as funds and AC units are often limited.

New York State will offer free window air conditioners to low-income residents with heat-related health issues beginning May 1 part of the Cooling Assistance Component of the New York Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

In June 2013, Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW) partnered with the Neighborhood Christian Center to give free air conditioning units to low-income seniors and disabled residents part of the “Play It Cool” program.

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services and Reliant Energy also distributed 100 portable air conditioners to Houston seniors and the disabled in need of relief from the heat in June 2013.

If you are a senior or know someone that would benefit from a free air conditioner, you can always contact these organizations to inquire if a similar program will be offered this year. Usually to qualify, applicants must meet age, income or health-related guidelines.

For the New York State program, applicants must meet income-guidelines and have a household member whose medical condition is impacted by extreme heat, along with documentation from a health care provider. AC units will be available on a first come, first serve basis May 1 – August 29 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

When calling for information, be sure to also inquire whether the unit will be installed or if someone needs to pick up the unit from a location. The program in NY offers installation of the unit by a participating Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) vendor, but residents will be responsible for the maintenance, care, removal and storage of the unit after installation.

This Spring, Remember to Chill…

Spring is here, or at least it should be.  With spring comes the warmer weather; with warmer weather comes air conditioners! If you do not have central air but you have a window air conditioner, have you checked the filter on it after you used it last season?  Chances are, probably not. When I lived at home I didn’t even know where the filter was on my window air conditioner, until my dad pointed it out when we put it away for storage.

It is important that you clean the filter in the air conditioner; it helps to keep the cool air flowing through the appliance.  With a buildup of lint, dust, and dirt your air conditioner will not be able to push out as much cold air.  This is going to cause your air conditioner to work that much harder, and use that much more power and electricity causing your bill to go up!  Build-up in your air conditioner filter can also be a fire hazard, which is why you need to make sure you keep it clean.  I would suggest buying a new one if you have never cleaned it out. That is what I did and my air conditioner ran so much smoother.  The air felt cooler, and it blew more out!  So instead of throwing money out the window for less cool air, check your air filter and replace it if you need to!

 

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