Glancing Back : Early Computers, Early Standards

1968: We’ve Come a Long Way

At the 1968 AHR Expo, The News discussed the use of computers with various companies. Here are some of the comments as they appeared in February 12, 1968.

“We use a Univac [an early computer that was too large to fit on a desktop] for statistics for forecasting, machine loading, and payroll. We are in the process of using it for inventory control and anticipate using it for writing and processing orders,” said Richard Meyer, then executive vice president of Alco Valve Co.

Roger Lakey, then director of marketing services for Lennox Industries Inc., stated, “We are aiming toward a centralized inventory control to get our products to the dealer when and where needed. We hope to use computers in engineering design work. We will use them for anything they can do.”

“We couldn’t do without our computers. We have one in the engineering department for design calculations. We have a big system for the financial department for all business records. Computers are a must for modern day business as a means of getting all information of importance immediately,” declared William Balthrop, then president of Airtemp Div., Chrysler Corp.

Virgil Solomon, a wholesaler from Cleveland, OH, at the time, said that his firm didn’t use computers. “We are waiting to see if the Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Wholesalers comes up with a program we can use,” he said.

1985: Setting High Standards

The state of California is currently undergoing an electricity crisis. In response, a law was crafted to try to alleviate, if not fix, this situation. Portions of this legislation include increasing the state seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of air conditioners and heat pumps from 10 to 13 SEER.

This is not the only time that the California Energy Commission (CEC) has worked to raise the minimum efficiency standards for air conditioning equipment. In late 1984, CEC voted to adopt an increase in the SEER to 8.9 by 1988 and 9.9 by 1993 for residential central air conditioners.

It was reported in the February 11, 1985 News that in petitions before the CEC and the Sacra-mento County Superior Court, manufacturers argued that the CEC made errors in this rulemaking. Some of the errors cited included:

  • Overestimating the life of an air conditioner;
  • Overestimating annual hours of operation;
  • Overestimating the tonnage of the units; and
  • Underestimating the price it will cost for manufacturers to build units specifically for the state’s standards (includes not distinguishing between packaged and split system units).
  • The manufacturers also charged that the CEC used DOE figures rather than using local market figures to arrive at a greater cost effectiveness than was reasonable.

    Just as manufacturers were opposed to the 1985 CEC decision, so too are they opposed to the current proposed CEC standards.

    Publication date: 02/12/2001

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