Curious History

Curious History

Life Before Air Conditioning Was Not a Breeze!

Today, life gets suffocating when the air conditioning unit does not work properly for one day. But have you ever imagined how life used to be before the invention of air conditioners? Yes, there might not be any trouble of HVAC maintenance, energy bill and energy-efficient electronics, but how the harsh summer heat was felt?

Summer heat waves before AC

Ever since the beginning of time, humans have tried to search ways to escape the fierce heat of summer. From Stone Age to modern times, humans used the best possible manner to fight with the summer heat. But until 19th century no full-proof method of cooling was available to beat the heat. Life was not easy without AC’s.

A Brief Look at the History of Air Conditioning

During cavemen phase of human life, caves were used by early men to keep themselves safe and cool from extreme temperature. After that humans used Pit houses to fight the summer heat. The earthen floors and walls of pit houses helped in dropping the inside temperature during summer. Still Mesa Verde National Park in New Mexico has some ancient pit houses constructed by Southwest tribes.

In late 1800s Dugout homes were built to deal with the summers. Dugout homes were a modern version of Pit houses. Sod (a natural insulator) was used to keep the inside temperature down. Dugout homes used to remain cool throughout the year.

On the other hand ancient Egyptians used to hang reeds in windows. The evaporation of water cooled the air flowing via the window. And the Romans also built some tunnels to get cool during summers. These methods dropped the temperature to some extent, but didn’t provide air conditioner like cooling effect.

Also, Middle East Countries which are known for their soaring temperatures used wind towers to beat the heat. The architectural feature of wind towers created ventilation in the building. Those towers diverted the wind downward into the interior part of the building.

Finally, in 1902 Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner and solved the cooling needs of the people.

So, if regular air conditioner maintenance troubles you then just imagine how our ancestors have fought with summer heat!!

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