Celebrating 120 years of modern air conditioning


14 July 2022

120 years ago, before we had chewing gum, radios, Einstein’s theory of relativity or aeroplanes, Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning.

Originally developed to solve humidity problems affecting a printing press in Brooklyn, New York, Carrier’s innovation has gone on to transform the way we live, enable the birth of new industries, and make modern life as we know it possible.

Since Carrier’s invention, modern air conditioning – and the company born out of it – has changed the way people live, work, learn and play across the globe. It has kept travellers cool and comfortable on trains and ships, fueled the skyward expansion of cities around the world, helped preserve history and supported the start of the digital age. 

“At Carrier, we put people and the planet first by developing new technology that enhances wellbeing and improves health and safety, while reducing emissions and preserving our planet,” said Betrand Rotagnon, UK country leader and sales director for Northern Europe at Carrier. “We have been at the forefront of innovation since 1902, and we are ready for the next 120 years of providing sustainable solutions.” 

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Carrier says its forward-thinking solutions build on the ingenuity of Willis Carrier’s pioneering invention, innovating to solve challenges including climate change and public health. For example: 

  • As part of its 2030 Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) Goals, Carrier is targeting carbon neutrality across its operations and aiming to reduce customers’ carbon footprint by more than one gigaton.
  • As Covid-19 highlighted the critical importance of public health, Carrier launched its Healthy Buildings Program to provide healthier and safer indoor environments. Products such as the OptiClean air scrubber and negative air pressure machine – that rapidly reduces concentrations of ultra-fine, virus-sized particles in the air – help reduce risks as part of a mitigation strategy.
  • Carrier invests in research including the COGfx Study series, led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, that demonstrated that healthier buildings with enhanced ventilation results in improved thinking and wellbeing for occupants. 

Learn more about Carrier’s legacy of innovation, as well as the complete history of modern air conditioning, at Carrier.com