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7 Ways People Kept Cool Before Homes Had Air Conditioners

Throughout ancient and recent history, people found inventive ways to beat the heat and survive through extreme temperatures. Ever wondered how you would’ve survived without AC? Find out below!

1. Living in Caves or Underground

A cave or an underground home has more stable temperatures throughout the year. Hot air, of course, rises, and the rocks and earth act like insulation. The ancient Turks even built an entire subterranean city.

2. Siestas

Ancient Romans and Spaniards found a more efficient way to deal with the heat: work around it. Instead of toiling away during the hottest part of the day (afternoon), it became customary to rest or take a nap (siesta) and then resume work when temperatures started declining.

3. High Ceilings

By constructing buildings with high ceilings, you allow the hot air to rise to the top of the room. This makes the area closer to the floor cooler.

4. Shotgun-style Homes

This style of home was prevalent in the American South from the early 1860s to the 1920s. They feature no hallways—just a clear path all the way through the house from the front door to the back door. This design allows for efficient cross-ventilation.

5. Sitting or Sleeping on the Porch

Rather than suffer indoors, where hot, humid air could sit without a breeze, many people found it much more comfortable to spend time on the porch. Friends, families, and neighbors could socialize there, and when it was too hot to sleep indoors, some people even slept on screened-in porches.

6. Escaping to the Movies

Movie theaters were some of the earliest public places with air conditioning systems. Before homes had AC units, you could enjoy both entertainment and comfortable, cool air at the cinema.

7. Electric Fans

The first mass-produced fans for households appeared in 1910. Fans are effective appliances for removing body heat, and when used outdoors, they can also help keep mosquitoes and other pests away. When ice became less expensive, some people would place ice in front of a fan to blow cold air throughout the room.

Don’t let a broken AC send your home back to the Stone Age! Call our reliable technicians at Tom's Mechanical, Inc. today: (972) 388-3669!

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