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The Evolution of Auto Air: A Brief History of Car Air Conditioning Repair Medford

Posted by Michael W. Frame on Jul 12, 2017

car air conditioning repair Medford

It's the middle of July—prime time for sweating it out under the hot summer sun.

And car rides are no exception. Hopping into a vehicle during the summer months without immediately turning on the AC (or even running it for a few minutes before entering) is almost unheard of. 

But automotive air conditioners of today look and perform quite a bit different from those of the past. Understanding the history of automotive air conditioning can help you better appreciate the cool rides you get the pleasure of enjoying today. 

And, in the unfortunate case that your auto AC times out, you might be able to tough it out when you think of what past drivers used to endure without modern air conditioning (until you have the chance to look into car air conditioning repair Medford, that is). 

>> Book your AC repair service online <<

So, without further ado, a quick history lesson on the evolution of automotive air conditioning. 

Car and Truck Air Conditioning Repair Medford: A History

Air conditioner installation was first offered for sale in the United States in New York City in 1933. This option was focused on luxury cars and limousines, and sales were not widespread. 

Ohio-based Packard began offering air conditioning units for mainstream cars in 1939. Although this system provided revolutionary comfort to automobile occupants, there were a variety of drawbacks that prevented it from becoming a commercial success. 

First, the main evaporator and blower dominated the trunk, taking up nearly half of the space. It also lacked a temperature thermostat or any other adjustment for usage other than turning the blower off. The system also required several feet of plumbing, which made the service unreliable. 

And the price of $274, which equates to more than $4,500 U.S. dollars today, was not affordable for most Americans living in the post-depression era. 

AirTemp: "Modern" Air Conditioning

It wasn't until 1953 when Chrysler Imperial began to offer Airtemp, a modern automobile air conditioning, that automotive AC really started to take off. 

The Airtemp trumped earlier models in a number of ways. A single dashboard switch allowed drivers to toggle the airflow between low, medium, and high. The system's high capacity allowed it to cool the passenger compartment while simultaneously reducing humidity, dust, and other air pollutants. 

Chrysler's slightly rudimentary yet functional design was mirrored by Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile on some of their models in the same year. 

Advanced Air Conditioning Models

The first fully integrated HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) system was premiered in the 1954 Nash Ambassador. The Nash-Kelvinator corporation's experience working with refrigeration systems allowed them to introduce a compact, highly functional, and affordable automotive air conditioning system. 

This system was the first to feature controls on the dash and an electric clutch. And, with all of the components installed under the hood, the system was very serviceable.

It was so impressive that it paved the way for mainstreamed automotive AC in the late 1900s. By 1970, more than half of all new cars came equipped with AC. And today, only 1% of all new cars lack air conditioning

Modern Features: Air Conditioning Auto Repair

Then came the dual-zone automatic climate control option, which allows the driver and passenger to adjust their temperature settings separately.

More recently, cars, trucks, and especially SUVs offer additional zone and control options for rear-seat passengers. 

And, although there have been a variety of other comfort and efficiency options such as cooled seats, additional vent options, and expanded dual zone capabilities, modern air conditioning systems have remained the same at their core. With time there are surely more advancements and improvements to come!

SUV Air Conditioning Repair Medford: A Different Cool

What a history, huh? Here at Crater Lake Ford, we believe that knowledge is power. We have a great collection that can help you keep your car's air conditioner running smoothly:

And when you can't take care of it yourself, we are here to help! 

Now through the end of August, we'll test your outlet performance, inspect the cabin filter, and inspect all major components of your car's air conditioning system. We'll even evacuate and recharge your system, all for just $59.95

When you need car, truck, or SUV air conditioning repair in Medford, come to Crater Lake Motors. Our service team will take care of you! We are your auto repair Medford OR experts. 

Give us a call today at (541) 263-7220 or schedule a service appointment online.



The Upstairs Room


Topics: Auto Maintenance Tips

Written by Michael W. Frame