AC Over Time

The Advancement of AC Over Time

Do you ever think about a time before air conditioning?

It’s tough – we know. Fathomable or not, there was once a time when this glorious invention didn’t exist.

So, what creative approaches did people take to stay cool back in the day? Thanks to a few handy sources, we’ve found some very interesting past solutions to beat the heat and the interesting development of AC over time.

Our ancestors used to:

  • Have their homes built on hilltops to catch the breeze.
  • Strategically place their windows on opposite ends of each other with a door between them to produce a steady flow of cool wind.
  • Use ice water-soaked sheets and have air blown over them to create cold air.
  • Sleep on their porch at night.
  • Have attic fans installed. (The most effective approach of them all, right?)

Here are some more interesting approaches specifically for homes:

  • Trees. We often think of trees as just shade for outdoors, but that wasn’t the case in earlier days. People would strategically plant trees on the east or west side of their home, (this being where the sun rises and falls), to block out the sun.
  • Transom and Double-Hung Windows. Transom windows sit above doors, which allow hot air to rise upstairs. Double-hung windows allow you to let heat out from the top opening during the day and let cool air in from the bottom opening at night.
  • Reflective Roofs. Using light colored, reflective material to build rooftops made for a significant decrease in the heat absorbed into the home.

Have an expert cool your home.

And lastly, here are some notable breakthroughs in air conditioning:

  • In 1904, mechanical cooling was used to cool the World Fair’s Missouri State Building.
  • In 1922, the first well-designed cooling unit, using a technology called centrifugal cooling, was installed in movie theaters.
  • In 1929, a smaller cooling unit was produced but was modified between 1930 and 1931 to create a self-contained room cooler.
  • By the 1960s, new homes were built with air conditioning.
  • As of present day, air conditioning is now found in over 87% of homes.

From strategically placed homes and windows, to cooling units being available in establishments, to now being available anywhere, air conditioning is here to stay. We project that the industry will continue to shift towards greener HVAC solutions, and we’ll be analyzing this trend every step of the way.

Learn more about your modern day air conditioning solutions – give us a try.

Chris James' Ironman Triathlon

Apprentice by Day, Triathlete by Night


“I’m in love with helping people, especially with raising money for breast cancer research.”

It’s not every day that you meet some like Chris James. A dedicated apprentice, an experienced athlete, and a caretaker for breast cancer.

Meet Chris.

Chris James' Ironman Triathlon

This fall, Chris will compete in the very prestigious triathlon, the Ironman. His run will support the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. The triathlon will take place on September 25.

Explore Chris’ incredible journey through this video.

About Chris
Chris is a fourth-year apprentice with SMART. He made his way to us after being a welder for the Marine Corps. He was intrigued by Local 265 union, the camaraderie, and the benefits that came with being a part of a great organization. He also found a connection to our values of quality and integrity, as he appreciates the quality five-year apprenticeship he’s a part of and carries integrity everywhere he goes, just as the Marines have instilled in him. Thanks to these factors, SMART was the perfect fit for Chris and he’s dedicated himself to SMART and the union ever since.

Chris was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but spent most of his life in Illinois and Georgia. When he’s not training for the Ironman triathlon, he spends his spare time with his fiancé (who he says he wouldn’t be able to train and do this triathlon without), dogs, and performing gigs.

Chris’ Journey to the Ironman Triathlon

Though this is Chris’ first time competing in a triathlon, he’s an experienced athlete who has participated in everything from 5ks to 100 mile runs, including an extensive Olympic triathlon. His influence to compete in the Ironman derived from seeing it firsthand. He supported his friend during his entire Ironman in Louisville. By being exposed to the triathlon and the amazing spirits of the triathletes, he was completely won over. He says the community even reminded him of SMART.

As Chris began his Ironman search, there were some key things that stuck out to him, making it clear that he was meant to do the triathlon. First, he found that Chattanooga was one of the locations. Being that this is hometown, this alone sold him. Unfortunately, as he went to sign up, the Chattanooga triathlon was full. But this didn’t stop Chris.

The Ironman also allows people to fundraise for organizations. The organization that stuck out to Chris was the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. Choosing this foundation meant more to him than just a means to enter the triathlon, but as a way to support a cause that was near to his heart. His grandmother passed away from breast cancer, and Team Edith was the perfect way for Chris to help the breast cancer community.

Supporting a foundation for the triathlon comes with a huge commitment. The typical registration fee for the Ironman is $700. However, to support a foundation, you’re obligated to raise money for it. Chris’ goal is to raise $5,000, and he must hit a minimum of at least $3,500. So far, he has raised money through music gigs and support from his family and friends. Check out his donation page.

More About the Ironman

This triathlon is prestigious because it is the biggest and most rigorous triathlon of its kind. It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 22.6-mile run. The triathlon runs from 7:30 a.m. to midnight of the following day, giving the triathletes a total of 16.5 hours to complete the competition.

Chris has an equally intense training schedule as the triathlon, as he’s been thoroughly preparing for the Ironman on a daily basis. For nutrition, Chris consumes 3,000-4,000 calories a day. He currently trains 11-13 hours of a week, but will increase to 16+ hours a week as the triathlon nears. To break down his weekly schedule:

  • Monday: Swim
  • Tuesday: Bike
  • Wednesday: Swim
  • Thursday: Bike and Short Distance Run
  • Saturday: Swim and Long Distance Run
  • Sunday: Long Distance Bike & Short Distance Run

Chris gives himself Friday off to take a break.

Chris also has a swim coach, who helps him greatly with water-based athletic training, as it was not something he practiced competitively until this past winter.

Inspiration for Aspiring Triathletes

For those that are aspiring to become triathletes, Chris says, “It takes discipline and the will to live a healthy lifestyle. First, get the right gear (don’t just go cheap.) Also, pay attention to what you eat and be sure to get your nutrients and stay hydrated. Step out your comfort zone, start small, and listen to your body.”

Lastly, he says to “respect the distance”, so be sure to train consistently and keep a great support system.

Quotes That Have Inspired Chris

“Make yourself stronger than your excuses.”

“7-minute mile or 14-minute mile – it’s still a mile.”

Chris & SMART

Chris’ goal is to be able to combine Edith Sanford and I Want Smart to bring awareness to breast cancer and shed new light on the union. Chris says that he wouldn’t have been able to do the race without the help of SMART, as we have been able to support him mentally and financially through his journey. He reached out to SMART for help with fundraising and we were pleased to lend a hand. We’re extremely proud of Chris’ story and journey to the Ironman. Now we’re on a mission to share his story with the world.

We look forward to following Chris’ journey, and we encourage you to follow with us. To support Chris, visit his donation page. To stay updated, follow our Facebook page.

Updates – 8/18/2016

– Chris has reached his $3,500 minimum. Help him reach his goal of $5,000 on his donation page.
– His training has increased to 15 hours a week and has remained injury free!
– He will taper in the next few weeks, meaning that he will decrease his workout load to allow his body to recover and rest in preparation for race day.
– He has completed his nutrition and consumption plan for race day.

Best of luck Chris! September 25 will be here before you know it!

Air Quality

8 Easy Steps to Improve Your Air Quality

Fun Fact:

You breathe 3,400 gallons of air a day on average.

Indoor air quality is a topic most people pass right over, as they probably assume their air is as clean as they keep their home. However, you’d be surprised what hidden threats lie within it.

Your Bathroom
Dampness and humidity from your shower can cause mold.

Your Bedroom
If you have a ceiling fan in your bedroom, or anywhere else in your home, the dust and allergens that collect on the blades can sprinkle on furniture.

Carpets and Furniture
Dust mites love to roam around furniture and carpets.

Carbon monoxide can be produced from leaks and exhaust from your appliances.

Wall and Floor Openings
Radon can be produced from wall and floor openings that are in contact with the ground.

Now, take a breather. (Pun intended.)

Utilize these 8 very simple ways to ensure that your air quality is in top-notch shape.

1. Dust Your Home Regularly
This is key, as it will prevent the buildup of dust and allergens.

2. Change Your Filters
Not only should you replace your filters regularly, but make sure you choose an effective one. You want a filter that catches at least 85% of large air pollutants.

3. Wash and Vacuum
Cut down on dust buildup by washing your bedding and vacuuming your carpet on a weekly basis.

4. Ventilate
Kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans rid the air of pollution.

5. Maintain Humidity
Keep your humidity between 30% to 50%.

6. Radon Testing
Make sure your home is gas-free with a radon test kit.

7. Carbon Monoxide Testing
Have a carbon monoxide alarm installed and regularly test your home for this toxin.

8. Open Your Windows and Doors
The easiest step of all! Get some fresh air circulating through your home to increase your air quality.

Get the professionals to clean and maintain your HVAC units the right way. Get in touch today.

Common AC Myths

6 Common AC Myths You Probably Believe

There are a lot of common AC myths you’ll hear, whether it’s the way you should maintain it or its health risks. But before you take someone’s word for it, let the experts fill you in on the truth.

Myth: You should turn your AC off when you leave home.

People commonly believe that leaving your air conditioner on when you’re not home is costly. The truth of the matter is, making a hot home cool uses more energy, which results in a costly energy bill. Instead, you should actually turn your air conditioning temperature up by 3° to 6°.

Myth: You should leave your fan on to cool your home when you’re gone.

The reason why fans and air conditioning units are different is because one only cools people and the other one cools both people and rooms. Your fan only cools people, so your home will still be hot when you return. Take the tip above for your AC, and make sure your fan is rotating counter-clockwise to ensure it cools (people) properly.

Myth: Your AC can give you a cold.

You’re more likely get a cold from being outdoors in the winter before getting sick from cool temperatures from your air conditioning. Stay healthy by bundling up in cold weather and regularly maintaining your air conditioner to avoid dirty air from circulating around your home.

Myth: The placement of your AC doesn’t matter.

As we mentioned in our When Should You Buy a New AC Unit blog, placement does matter. Keeping your AC unit out of direct sunlight or shade is ideal for air circulation. Even placing it near lamps and TVs can impact a thermostat. And your outdoor unit isn’t exempt. Placing this unit in direct sunlight can also affect outdoor to indoor exchange efficiency.

Myth: Getting the biggest AC unit you can get will keep you the coolest.

The larger the unit, the more energy and electricity it needs to run, which will definitely cause a spike in your electric bill. Get an AC unit that fits your home. This way, you can give it the potential to run a little longer and avoid unnecessary repairs in the long run.

Myth: You don’t need to have your AC serviced.

Though we’ve given you plenty of tips through our blogs to keep you well informed and capable of regularly maintaining your AC, you should still have your AC serviced by a professional at least once a year. Having your unit cleaned and maintained allows it to run efficiently, and a technician can catch potential issues early on to avoid problematic developments while not in use during the winter.

Need some consulting on your AC unit now? Our team of dedicated, well-trained technicians has your back. Chat with us today.