As much of the country is suffering through record-high summer temperatures, HVAC manufacturers are celebrating the 111th anniversary of the invention of air conditioning.

On July 17, 1902, Willis Carrier first submitted drawings for what would eventually be patented as an “apparatus for treating air.”

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers as one of the top inventions of the 20th century.

Officials with the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute point out that far from being a luxury, the widespread use of air conditioning is credited with reducing the number of heat-related deaths by 80 percent between 1900 and 1959.

“On a day like today, you would be hard-pressed to find a person in America who would not be thankful for air conditioning,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI president and CEO. “But even as we are grateful for the comfort air conditioning provides, we should remember that it is also very much a life-saving technology.”