Travel Back in Time – What Was It Like Before the Invention of Air Conditioning Systems?
It was over a century ago when air conditioning was first invented, and many people have never lived in a house without it. People have become very reliant on their AC systems for comfort that it can is almost impossible to imagine those times before you can control the temperature in your house with just a few taps on a button. However, even people living in the hottest areas were able to find ways to keep heat at bay since time immemorial.
Even though those days when living in caves was the most practical way to keep warm and stay cool, the time before air conditioning has shaped the way modern people built their homes and lived their lives.
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Homes are Built to Stay Cool
If you have ever been inside houses built back in the 1800s or even earlier, you will notice that they have the same design elements that you might not seen in modern houses. Most of these elements, such as the particularly high ceilings, were used mainly to help people stay cool. When hot air rises, these higher ceilings offer more space where hot air can linger and keep things much cooler at an eye-level.
Also a common feature in architecture which provided heat relief was the inclusion of a front porch that was usually made deep to provide a lot of shade. Large covered porches meant there will be a place to go and spend time in if the home felt very stuffy, with the shady buffer zone helping cool down air which comes in through the front-facing windows. The screened-in porches were also nice places where you can sleep when nights are hottest.
Being the sole ventilation sources, windows were very essential and were installed on the room’s opposite sides if possible to form a nice cross-breeze. For blocking out the sun and cooling down the breeze, the east and west sides of the home were also planted with shady trees.
Sooner, electricity made it possible to use ceiling fans for homeowners to stay comfortable inside their house before the rise of air conditioning. As it keeps air moving constantly, fans provide a significant cooling sensation with no need to lower the room’s temperature.
Social Scene Used to be Cooler
You probably hear people complaining how the present society grew more distant as people stay glued to their smartphones, with lesser public interactions. However, air conditioning could have a much bigger effect on daily socialization.
In the months of the summer, it was very common for people to convene on shady porches after eating dinner while their homes cooled down. People also stroll around their neighborhood then say hello to people they passed by at every house.
In days prior to the rise of air conditioning in homes, people also congregate in some public areas which provide comfort, such as a small movie theater.
Traditions during summertime meant to beat the heat definitely had a lot of benefits, but for sure, you probably don’t want to return to those pre-air conditioning days.