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How Do We Build a Better Air Conditioner?

By Kristin Hunt

Willis Carrier introduced the world to his revolutionary air conditioner at the Rivoli Theatre in Times Square in 1925 — and the way modern-day HVAC experts tell it, the technology has stayed stuck in the ‘20s ever since.

“Air conditioning technology hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years,” says Josh Teekell, CEO and founder of Mistbox. “Some of the [manufacturers] are really understanding that these are kind of old and even dumb [products]. They aren’t connected, they aren’t optimized.”

Air conditioning isn’t just old and dumb. It’s a massive energy suck. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 6 percent of all electricity produced in America and cost consumers about $29 billion annually. They also dump around 117 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year.