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The History of Air Conditioning in Texas

The History of Air Conditioning in Texas - black and white girl with fan

It’s hard to imagine where we would be without air conditioning in Texas, but in the 1800s people didn’t have AC units. 

Unlike 19th-century Texas, people today have the luxury of getting cool air with the touch of a button.  

The History of Staying Cool

Some of the first cooling mechanisms came from the Middle East, where engineers built breeze-capturing towers to bring cooler air into the home. The Romans built houses with double walls and running water between the walls, but these solutions were available only for the wealthy. 

Nineteenth-century Texans split their workday in two, working in the early morning hours and the cooler evening hours. During this period, many Texans built homes under the shade of trees and the windows were positioned to face the breeze to improve ventilation and make the home more comfortable. 

Modern air conditioning had its true beginnings in the mid-19th century. The idea began in Florida when a doctor noticed that his patients’ conditions seemed to get worse during the hottest months of the year.  He first solved the problem by suspending an ice bucket over the patient allowing the cool air to fan and slowly sprinkle onto the patient. The problem with this was the water and ice were quite expensive then. To lower his costs, he started learning about engineering and developed the mechanical cooler. For the next 10 years, these machine fans were used in health care, but the concept soon worked its way into other commercial applications. 

By the 1860s, the water cooler fan was available, but many Texans could not afford it. Instead, they made their own by placing a damp cloth in the window and waiting for the air to blow through it. 

The 20th Century Brings Modern Air Conditioning 

When the 20th Century came, many businesses began to invest in air conditioning units. In 1912, the first air-conditioned public building was the First Presbyterian Church of Orange, Texas. Orange is in the southeast part of the state and borders Louisiana. San Antonio also has the honor of boasting the first building to be fully air-conditioned. The Milam building was built in 1928 and had a 300-ton Carrier weather system used to chill the 21 floors and keep the temperature under 80 degrees and the humidity at about 50 percent. 

Air conditioning systems in homes did not become common until the 1940s when window units became popular. Friedrich AC manufactured most of the window units used in the state at that time. 

Today, about 90 percent of all Texas homeowners have AC units in their homes. Most Texans’ homes spend about 20 percent of their energy consumption on air conditioning. 

21st Century Air Conditioning

Now, summers are a few degrees hotter than they were in the 19th Century, but the technological advances in indoor climate control mean that  families can stay cool and comfortable.   

AC systems do a lot to make our lives healthier and more comfortable, which is why we should care for them and make sure they are always in optimal shape.

Chapman Air & Heat – A Leader in Texas 

If you haven’t had your air conditioning unit inspected in a while or need a new central air unit installed, it is important to have knowledgeable contractors who can troubleshoot and provide expert advice. 

The experts at Chapman Air & Heat have served area homeowners and businesses for 40 years. With experience in all aspects of HVAC, Chapman Air & Heat offers outstanding service to businesses and homeowners.

Call us at (214) 340-4999 or contact us online.

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Reviews
4.0
Based on 53 reviews
Bryan Peek
09:51 13 May 21
I've used Chapman Air & Heat for 20 years now and... they have always been very professional. I recently had to have a new system installed. Tommy was great in walking me through the process. Jeff and Liz were also very helpful. The installers worked very quickly and got the job done. I've always been pleased with the work they have done. I appreciated them getting my new system installed quickly before the summer heats gets here. Great job!read more
G G
15:37 18 Sep 20
Expert technician David Miles repaired air... conditioner. Exceptional service.read more
Hugh Stephens
16:48 21 Aug 20
My technician is Bobby. He is always courteous,... competent, and professional. Chapman Air installed the HVAC units in my new build 2 years ago. There has never been a problem.I highly recommend them. Ask for Bobby!read more
Ron ONeal
15:46 30 Jun 20
Bobby is top notch. He is professional &... thorough. We trust him with our two systems every year. Their annual check up program is well worth it.read more
Mark Reaves
19:48 18 Jun 20
Bobby came out to do routine maintenance on our 4... systems. He is personable, professional, and through. He certainly seems to know what he is doing. I appreciate that. It's good to have someone I can depend upon. Thank you!read more
Laura Koebel
16:59 21 May 20
We have had Chapman Heating and Air for many... years in our home. They check our Heating and AC system each season. Our service tech Bobby always is very professional and does a great job in taking good care of our home unit. I would recommend Chapman to anyone who wishes to keep their Heating/AC System in good shape.read more
Bobby Mathew
16:29 17 May 19
Chapman air completed the summer maintenance on... all my units with care and reassurance that things are being done correctly. I really appreciate Bobby who was leading the service with his helper. They changed out my filters and did a great job. I really appreciate the customer service and support!read more
Robin Thomas
10:45 21 Apr 17
So thankful we found Chapman Air & Heat to... service our HVAC system. We went through two other companies and wasted a lot of time off work, waiting at home for service folks who did not arrive on time, did not know Trane systems, and did not fix our issue. And then we found Chapman :). They quickly called me back and sent an expert technician who arrived at the time promised. He quickly fixed our issue and was very knowledgeable and professional. Thank you, Chapman!read more
Jessica Hudson
16:44 21 Apr 16
Today was the first time I've used Chapman Air,... and I couldn't be more impressed! Gerardo was our technician and he was extremely knowledgeable and polite. He explained all the work he was doing and even showed me pictures of the work he completed. As he was working, my AC kicked on with more cooling power than I had felt in years! My house is actually COLD! I signed up for the prepaid service and I'm looking forward to having a cool house all summer! Thank you Gerardo and Chapman Air!read more
John Schmidt
02:10 19 Feb 16
This business was first class from start to... finish. Tom came out and gave a very thorough description of different units and how they work. He was very honest about what we needed for our house and did not go for the "big sale". I had a proposal the next day on several units and they were willing to work within our budget when we made the decision. The installation today was just as great. The installers were here on time, 8:30am, and finished the job at about 5:30pm. They were extremely nice, courteous, clean and very respectful to make sure I was ok with everything they were doing. They took a lot of time testing everything to make sure it worked properly, and then showing me how to use everything. The system is awesome. I look forward to working with them in the future and would highly recommend them.read more
Laura Koebel
15:41 22 Oct 15
Today I had my yearly heat check and was very... pleased. My service person was Bobby. He was very polite and did the job.read more
Rick Ashwander
20:36 11 Aug 15
Chapman air has bent over backwards for me, even... when things did not look good. Thank you Mr Chapman for being compassionate, and to Tom for being the kindest saleperson I have ever met. I would highly recommend Chapman air to anybody who needs air conditioning.read more
Frederick Merrill (Billy Laredo)
15:39 20 Jul 15
Bobby, The service Tech always does an excellent,... thorough job and I am always confident when he comes to service my units.He knows where everything is and makes my involvement minimal. He also cleans up excellently before leaving and I never need to check on anything because if Bobby did it, it was done right.May I add that he is courteous and personable and I would not want anyone but Bobby to service my units, please.I just resigned for another year before he left.Thanks Chapman Air!Frederick Merrill, Jr.read more
Deborah Ray
15:04 18 Jul 15
What a great a experience! The worker (David) was... prompt, efficient, and friendly. Pricing was awesome! We will definitely use this company again!read more
Jack Howley
23:13 04 May 15
We have the highest praise for Chapman HVAC. When... our 20 year-old HVAC system unexpectedly failed, we requested proposals from 9 companies (including the big box stores) to replace for our system (A/C and furnace). Three of the proposals were price competitive, one of which was Chapman.During our selection process, we came to understand that installation of the system is as important as the quality of the equipment. Poorly installed equipment can’t function efficiently or reliably. After carefully considering all the factors, we selected Chapman. They’ve been in the HVAC business for more than 30 years. As Chapman claims, they’re ‘large enough to serve, and small enough to care’.The Chapman representative and installer-technicians were not only competent and knowledgeable, but were also quite courteous. The installation team was prompt and efficient. We were surprised at how quickly and carefully the project was completed. Where needed, they made custom modifications to adapt to our existing duct-work at no extra charge. The jobsite was left as tidy as before. They went the extra mile to make sure we were satisfied - and we are.Because manufacturer warranties require periodic maintenance, we also selected Chapman’s annual service plan. Because they’re a local company with rapid response teams, we’re comfortable that Chapman will be available if we ever have an unexpected loss of heat or A/C.read more
Daniel Hubbard
03:28 27 Mar 15
I recently chose Chapman Air and Heat to install... a new Trane HVAC system and duct work. I was very impressed from start to finish with the friendly and knowledgeable sales representative (Tom) and the installation team (Ricardo and Robert). The sales part went very smoothly - Tom discussed the menu of options and explained the difference between systems. I felt well-informed to make the decision. Installation was scheduled three days later. Ricardo, Robert & Rene were awesome. I was impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail. They did a fantastic job on the duct work and installation - the work is a dramatic improvement over the old system and other companies I have dealt with. We were up and running again with the new system as quickly as possible and I can rest easy knowing it was done right. Thanks Chapman, Tom, Ricardo, Robert, & Rene!read more
Jose Ramirez
01:26 17 Nov 14
A TECH NAMED MARIO CAME OUT TO MY HOUSE TO FIX MY... THERMOSTAT AND HE WAS VERY PROFESSIONAL AND INFORMATIVE. THANK YOU CHAPMAN AIR!read more
Scott Williams
13:17 27 Oct 14
Chapman has done an excellent job supporting me... in the New Construction of my home. From design through install and support, the team has been professional and on-time. Field service techs did an excellent job in troubleshooting a possible issue we had after initial installation and turn-up. They arrived within an hour of my call to check the possible issue. All was resolved quickly.Also, Carla did an excellent job with the sales/ coordination of my project. She was very helpful, courteous, and professional. I have enjoyed working with the Chapman Heating & Air team...you EXCEEDED my EXPECTATIONS!Thanks,Scott Wread more
Scott Chaney
19:41 23 Sep 14
I have built two homes in Plano over the past 20... years and the last one had 8 AC/Furnace systems in it. Chapman Air did the installation and zoned it to where it gave me great control over my home and every room stayed cool as needed. They also perform two maintenance visits a year, spring and fall, to keep my equipment operating at peak efficiency. THANK YOU Chapman Air for keeping my home very comfortable and my wife very happy! I am a very satisfied customer and I have already recommended you to my friends. Keep up the good work!read more
Patricia Silos
18:54 27 Aug 14
My sincerest gratitude for the great service I... received from your dispatcher, Sandra. She provided the upmost respect and patience when I called needing my AC serviced. Thank you Sandra for going above and beyond in offering great customer service!From a happy Chapman customer read more
Priscilla Cisneros
02:24 27 Aug 14
I called chapman to fix my ac unit and it was the... best service I have received by far! The technician was outstanding and the dispatch was very helpful and nice, I loved the fast service. Very pleased with this chapman's service, I highly recommend it to anyone in need of their ac unit to be fixedread more
Gus Seutter
19:17 26 Aug 14
In June we had your company replace our 30 year... old ductwork and add some supply vents to correct an air balance issue (not enough air to some rooms.) We were very impressed with your crew. They were on time, professional and NEAT. They prepped their work areas in advance to minimize the dust. I had imagined there would be dust and debris left behind after this type of installation, but was pleasantly surprised.BTW, the air balance issue is corrected and we have already seen a decrease in our electric bill-as compared to last summer.Thanks for a job well done.read more
John Starkey
14:03 25 Aug 14
This past Sunday afternoon I accidentally cut... through my AC control cable and called Chapman when I could not get the system to come on after repairing the cable. Josh, the service man on call communicated very well with me about schedule and fees, and before he came out had me check some things to see if he could get me going without having to make a service call.He did have to come out though,and he had my system going in just a few minutes. He also made some quick checks to make sure my unit was properly charged and functioning the way it should. I highly reccommend Chapman. They are responsive and professional.read more
Elvia Cavazos
16:22 07 Aug 14
I have used your services for several years and... at times been on your annual service contracts. I am usually pleased but at times have been concerned at how quickly the serviceman is finished with cleaning/washing the units outside. I was extremely impressed this week at how the serviceman quickly walked through the basement and the three floors to assess the units before starting his work and how thorough he was in cleaning the outside units. As it was taking him longer than others had ever taken, I would look out the window to see what he was doing. He took the front off and was scrubbing and hosing thoroughly all three units. When he came inside to take care of the indoor units, he was quite sweaty (and still smelled good), pants wet from the hosing and changed out of his rubber boots. He replaced the one filter I had requested and then changed the second after showing it to me and getting my approval. Before leaving, he asked me to join him outside so that he could point out to me the deterioration of one of the units that could possibly be on the brink of going out. I liked his service very much--quiet, professional, hardworking. I feel I got my money's worth. Thank you!!read more
Nicholas Costello
13:02 30 Jul 14
Unexpected service! Fast, Friendly and Reliable!... I called Chapman Air because of a trusted friend's recommendation. (A friend who has been in the business for over 30 years, but only works on commercial accounts). He told me to call Chapman about my 3 year old TRANE and that it was probably a simple fix. I spoke to Vicki and was blown away by the level of service and follow-up. In addition to my appointment, she told me who would call to confirm, and even who my technician would be. They were all as professional and helpful as my first interaction with Vicki. Vicki then took the time to personally ensure all of my warranty records were up to date with TRANE. And throughout the process called just to provide updates. Customer service in this generation has become so poor, that I don't even think I have expectations. We're usually just a number and dollar sign, but not so with Chapman Air. Vicki completely stopped me in my tracks with her service and follow-up.It all rises and falls on leadership, so without even knowing Marvin Chapman, I know what his values are because of how his staff operates. The only call for your HVAC needs!read more
Aj Torres
21:09 01 Apr 14
I called in a few weeks ago and I wish I could... remember who I spoke with but regardless. I told her my unit would not come on. She asked me about the type of t-stat I had and when I changed the battery last I didn't know it used one. I put a new one in and the system worked. I called back to thank her because she could have scheduled a service call which I would have paid only to be told it was the battery. I appreciate the help for helping save the money. Please tell Mr. Chapman thank you for having such fine technicians.read more
Norma Aguilar
21:37 03 Feb 14
We really appreciate the quick response in... getting our furnace fixed. It went out sometime during the night this past Monday and woke up to a very cold house. Called Chapman and by 8:30 AM, Dean was here. Thanks again for a job well done. We have used you guys for years and you have always been Johnny-on-the-spot. Thanks again.read more
Tim Thompson
21:23 08 Jan 14
My years of dealing with Chapman Air have always... been positive and solution oriented. Carla English has been invaluable in getting me to the right people at the right time and taking care of whatever needs were presented. There has never been a problem or issue too tough or too big for her. She is relentless in her pursuit of making people satisfied with the end result. My experience with each individual I've dealt has been similar. Good people make a good company.read more
Kim Wright
19:13 08 Jan 14
Chapman came to my rescue! A friend refered them... to me after my heat suddenly stopped working. The customer service was great!! My younger children were home and starting to get cold, and they really seemed concerned. Chapmen took care of the problem and saved our day!!read more
Kasandra Miller
00:38 14 Jun 13
I wanted to thank Chapman for their excellent... customer services. Their prompt response to me needs when my AC went out. Install went very well and smooth. I thank you again for all the professionalism.read more
L Carroll
20:51 13 Jun 13
Chapman Air & Heat is the best of the best when... it comes to customer service and taking care of our heating and cooling needs. We are long time customers and after replacing two units this spring, we wanted to write a positive review. Even though we have a service contract with Chapman, we shopped around before replacing our units for price comparison. Chapman's prices were fair, plus an additional discount for customers with service contracts, and the installation was very professional with an accurate estimate and time frame. We always recommend Chapman to our friends and neighbors, and have only heard positive remarks about their service and products. We are very satisfied customers!read more
George Chase
01:34 11 Jun 13
Chapman Air & Heat installed our new Trane XL20i... last month and we are 100% satisfied with the installation and the professionalism of the installers. We also had a new duct system installed and the amount of dust in our home has been greatly reduced plus no more hot and cold spots. I highly recommend Chapman.read more
Samantha Towber
01:51 10 Jun 13
My experience with Chapman Air was smooth and... efficient. They were prompt and courteous.read more
Wendy Miller-Banks
17:30 28 Aug 12
Thank you for sending great guys to my house to... complete the a/c work Gerardo and his partner worked hard and diligently, they have always done such a great job! Again thank you for employing such great individualsread more
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