It is easy to take luxuries such as air conditioning units for granted when you never had to live without one. People throughout history have had to find methods for keeping cool in the sweltering summer months. What did people do before those amazing electrical cooling systems were invented? They had to be creative and hard working to keep their homes from feeling like a furnace set on full blast. In fact, the solutions they came up and the way they designed their homes to keep air cool was quite ingenious…
Building Materials Kept Air Cool
The pre-historic method of keeping a dwelling cool was not so much in using devices as in choosing the proper location to live in. The coolest dwelling was caves because temperatures remained stable throughout the year. Caves maintain a temperature of about fifty degrees Fahrenheit, thus, comfort was not an issue. As men began to build their dwellings, cave conditions were taken into consideration. Walls were made of adobe, clay, and other natural materials. Hillsides were the best location for such dwellings and the only type of air conditioner available were any windows placed within the home.
The Wealthy Could Afford Snow
Emperors were known for bringing snow from the mountains to their homes in order to keep cool. The snow was placed in the gardens of the home; however, another method was more effective. Double walls were built and the snow was placed between the inner and outer wall to provide a longer lasting air conditioning type effect. It was an effective method for the time that was reserved for those with great power and wealth.
Ice Blocks Were Insulated and Transported Where Possible
Ancient Greek and Romans often used servants to fan away the heat. It is not exactly what is pictured in the movies though. The servants may have personally fanned their masters as shown in the movies, but, it is rare to see the actual method, which was to fan blocks of ice to produce cool air movement. The ice would be transported into the city. The servants would fan the blocks of ice with palm fronds as the main tool.
As Architecture Progressed, Housing Cooled Down
As time passed, people became a little less concerned with the use of human powered fans and snow filled walls and more concerned with the architecture of the building to keep cool. Eighteenth and nineteenth century homes were built with expansive windows that allowed cool breezes into the home. Doors were spacious as well. An air conditioner may not have been available, but, nature certainly was.
Finally, The Electric Fan, Precursor to Air Conditioning Units
Electric fans were invented sometime in the 1880’s. The invention of this new method for keeping body temperatures down would be the catalyst for the invention of the air conditioner. The first fans consisted of a blade attached to an electric motor. This device has developed into the second best way to keep cool during those scorching summer days.
Don’t Live Like the Ancients! Use Modern Air Conditioning Units
We’re lucky to live in times where we have air conditioning units keeping our living spaces cool! There is nothing quite like the invention of the device that conditions the air so well that people sometimes do not realize that the outdoor weather is blistering hot. Don’t swelter like the unfortunate souls who lived before the time of the modern air conditioner – contact Max Air, Arlington’s air conditioning experts, and we’ll keep you cool and comfortable!