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Auto air conditioning history

Obviously, Auto air conditioning wasn’t always around. Prior to its invention drivers relied on the old ‘windows down and drive fast method’ of keeping cool. Lucky for us car air conditioning is now a standard feature on all modern cars.

1933 – The first installation of auto air conditioning began in New York. Most customers operated limousines and luxury cars.

1939 – Packard became the first auto mobile manufacturer to offer an air conditioning unit in cars. However, this option was discontinued after 1941 due to the system taking up half the trunk space and the price being unaffordable to most people in a post depression/pre-war America. They were also slightly impractical in that to shut off the system the driver was required to get out of the car, open the hood and remove a belt.

1953 – Chrysler, Cadillac, Buick and Oldsmobile added air conditioning as an option on some of their models, using separate engine and trunk mounted components.

1954 – Saw the first American automobile to have a front end, fully integrated heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. The ‘All-Weather Eye’ made by the Nash-Kelvinator corporation was the first mass market system with controls on the dash and an electric clutch. It was also the first system to be compact and serviceable with all of its components installed under the hood of the car.

1960 – 20% of all cars had air conditioners installed.

1969 – The 60’s saw a boom in car air conditioning with 54% of all cars having car air conditioning systems installed. This grew to 80% by the mid 70’s.

1987 – The Montreal Treaty was signed. The international treaty was designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances which were responsible for Ozone depletion. One of these substances was refrigerant R-12. R-12 was used in all car air conditioning systems.

1994 – All new automobile air conditioning systems were required to run R-134a refrigerant, which has insignificant results on ozone depletion.

2011 – It was found that although R-134a was of no concern to ozone depletion, it does, however, have a significant impact to global warning. The European Union introduced a ban on R-134a.

2016 – The rest of the world has followed suit and R-134a is currently being fazed out and replaced by R1234yf.

If you would like to know more about your Car’s AC or enquire about having it regassed visit our service page or call us on 1300 car elec.

Has it been over 2 years since your last AC Service?