Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the air conditioner

Wednesday, July 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Wednesday's high temperature is way below normal. The perfect day for a party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the invention of the air conditioner.

It wasn't exactly a party, but News on Six reporter Rick Wells has some information to help keep you’re A/C up and running. It doesn't look like much of a party does it. 100th anniversary, that's a biggie, only one having fun is Angie the dog, thinks she's got an animal down that hole.

We visited Lana Baker's back yard; she grew up in Kansas without A/C. "I don't know if I could live without air conditioning now." To make sure this thing keeps running well the rest of the season, she getting her semi-annual air conditioner maintenance check. Given the celebratory nature of the day, we'd hoped the guys would bring some party favors or at least a veggie tray, but we'll settle for a little free advice.

Rick Kellenberger with Airco says the biggest problem, dirty condenser coils, you gotta wash them out. "If you're gonna wash it out, wash in the opposite direction as the air flows." In this case, the air flows outside in so wash inside out. If you’re A/C is not cooling properly, he says this is problem number one, and you can fix it yourself. "If you are very careful and turn the power off before you take the cover off."

A technician will also check the coolant levels to make sure there's enough and will check the unit mechanically. The first air conditioner. Willis Carrier invented it on July 17th, 1902. Here are some other cool facts. About 80% of American homes have A/C. Texas the most with 6.3 million. Florida with 5.7 million air conditioned homes.

It's changed the way we live and work, it's made Oklahoma summers at least bearable and it's 100 years old. A typical air conditioner service call costs in the neighborhood of $100. Most companies have a service contract that can save money on annual maintenance.