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A Quick Look at the Past 50 Years in HVAC

A Quick Look at the Past 50 Years in HVAC

Posted by
Ed Miller on Sun, Oct 11, 2020

Imagine what it would be like to not have central air or an energy-efficient heater in your home. Fifty years ago, you wouldn’t have had to imagine. However, between new technology, increased energy efficiency, and improved safety standards, a lot has changed in the HVAC industry over the last 50 years.

HVAC Innovations During the 1970s

There were numerous HVAC innovations during the 1970s that created new possibilities in the industry. For instance, ductless air conditioning systems were introduced as an alternative to window air conditioners. It took a few years for these systems to catch on in the United States while they were widely adopted throughout Asia.

The federal government began investing in HVAC research and technology toward the late 1970s. This interest was driven by the energy crisis when fuel costs surged, and energy shortages were recognized as a very real future possibility.

The heat pump design model was invented at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This innovation led to big improvements in air conditioner technology.

Increased Awareness of Efficiency During the 1980s

The United Nations introduced the Montreal Protocol, which was an international treaty among many countries. The purpose of the treaty was to phase out the use of chemicals that depleted ozone. This included the Freon used as a coolant in most air conditioners at that time.

The HVAC industry adopted a near measure of energy efficiency that is still in use today. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) was the first national standard set for HVAC energy efficiency.

Becoming More Environmentally-Friendly During the 1990s

Freon was slowly but surely banned around the globe. So, the search was on for a more environmentally-friendly coolant. Carrier, a world leader in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, contributed a chlorine-free HVAC system in 1994. Most HVAC manufacturers begin making the required switch to R134a, a more environmentally-friendly coolant.

Advances in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protections During the 2000s

By the 2000s, R410a had replaced other coolants as the most environmentally friendly coolant available. New HVAC technology and better refrigerants dramatically improved energy efficiency by 30% between 1993 and 2005. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy set new standards for HVAC energy efficiency. Between 1965 and 2007, the number of American homes with air conditioning rose from just 10% to 86%.

Technology Rules During the 2010s

The Internet of Things welcomed HVAC systems into the digital realm. One such innovation was the introduction of the smart thermostat, which made it easy to wirelessly connect HVAC systems to allow customers to control their systems remotely and monitor their energy usage. Emerson Electric released the Copeland Scroll Variable Speed Compressor that helped reduce HVAC system energy use by 25 to 35 percent.

Looking to the Future

While many innovations have emerged during the past 50 years in the HVAC industry, there is even more to explore with smart home technology, Internet connectivity, and the adoption of solar power.

For nearly five decades, Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning has continued to grow with the HVAC industry. We are proud to have been serving the Jacksonville community since 1973. As new technology is introduced, our staff continues to keep up with the trends so that we can remain an industry leader, and be ready to meet all of our customers’ HVAC repair, maintenance, and installation needs. Contact us anytime day or night.



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where you’ll find snyder

Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electric serves families across Florida. You'll find our technicians are just a short phone call away in neighborhoods throughout these counties:


  • Alachua
  • Baker
  • Clay
  • Duval
  • Flagler
  • Nassau
  • St. Johns


  • Broward
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Palm Beach
  • St. Lucie

Customer Reviews

This was an exceptional experience! We woke up to our A/C on but not cooling (it was 6am and already 81 in the house). The person who set up our appointment was very nice, able to get us seen same-day, and let us know of some options to help save us money.

-Christy Cormier

The service from Sam and Chris was excellent! They were very knowledgeable and professional. They were able to answer all of my questions and completed all of my electrical issues. I will definitely use them again for future jobs. Thank you!

-Adrienne Beal

From the get go I could tell that the Snyder employees were truly professionals and didn’t push to make sales like other companies I’ve talked to my whole life. They took the time to explain so that I could make a decision. The installers and later the duct cleaners were very respectful during their work here. Thank you.

-Mike Daniels

Snyder Heating and AC is dependable, always on time and techs have always been courteous and knowledgeable. Emanuel was a great addition to the company. He was friendly and knew what he was doing. Thank you for great service.

-Linda Ackley

Snyder came in and did a total overhaul of our duct system. They had a great knowledge of what to do to make our home so comfortable! The technicians were all so professional and took great care of us! We’re so thankful for their expertise. Great and easy communication with the call center. We will definitely use them again!

-Crystal Hill

Snyder provided an amazing experience from start to finish. Most of us dread getting estimates with pressuring salespeople. Erik was a great guy, explained all my options and didn’t try to pressure me to act quickly! Justin followed up with my husband and I to offer further assistance in our decision. Again, no pressure, just helped with our follow up questions.

-Michele Bauer

Very prompt, professional, courteous, and cleaned up after repair. Had water line break in my front yard and no pressure. Very pleased and would highly recommend Snyder for all your plumbing, and AC needs. Thank you for making a rough morning get better with ease and professionalism.

-Chuck Jr.

Snyder was easy to get in contact with and had availability the next day. Clint came out and needed some parts so had to reschedule us for the next day for installation. He did a great job converting our old 3 knob shower to one. Looks great! Professional and courteous. 100% recommend this company, especially Clint.

-Nicole Hansen

Very thorough and professional Job

-John Ridenour

Excellent work. Hard worker. Highly recommend.

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