How on Earth did anyone ever survive before residential air conditioning was invented? I’m sure you’ve thought of this at least once during a hot, Texas summer while you were sweating off those pesky last 10 pounds. The ideas our ancestors came up with for surviving life before AC are interesting – but not as unusual as you think. Many of these climate-control ideas are still in use today.
High ceilings and specifically placed windows
Take a look at an old building downtown. Most of the buildings still standing today were built with high ceilings. This allows heat to rise so that people could enjoy a decent temperature on the ground. Also, most homes in the past had windows on opposite sides of each other. The placement of these windows allowed air to ventilate properly.
The oldest method of staying cool in the summer heat is living underground. Underground, cave-like homes kept temperatures well below the above-ground temperature. We all know that. So if our ancestors weren’t cavemen, they would build their homes at the lowest point or near the base of mountains and hills.
Air + Ice
In today’s day and age, if you’re overheating it is likely that someone will put a cool towel on your head. In the past, our ancestors had a similar idea. They would blow air through bed sheets that were soaked in ice water. The circulation of air over ice vents cool air throughout an entire building.
Porches and trees
Many people built porches around their homes to stay out of the heat. Our ancestors would use their porches to nap during the hottest part of the day because it’s always cooler in the shade. Before residential air conditioning, homeowners planted trees specifically around the east and west windows of the house to keep the indoors a little cooler.
Thank goodness we have AC to help us these days. If your air conditioner needs a little help keeping you cool through this unseasonably warm fall, give Champion AC a call!
Ben is a retired Combat Controller with the United States Air Force. He started Champion AC in 2007. Ben is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is happily married and an avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Saints.