In anticipation of the summer months, we are gearing up for a high demand for AC installations and repairs. This is no time to go without a tried and true cooling system, especially as temperatures climb past 100 degrees. But believe it or not, there was a time before air conditioning.
The air conditioner was invented in 1902, though not with the intention of making an indoor space more comfortable. The first AC was primarily used for industrial quality control. And the resulting pleasant temperature was a mere coincidence. However, upon realizing an increase in productivity among workers, air conditioning quickly became popular.
Despite its appeal, it was considered a luxury item until the 1970s when they became more affordable. So far, that’s a mere fifty years of widespread AC use. So, what did people do before this glorious time in history? The dark ages preceding temperature regulation called for creativity and innovation. People designed their homes and spent their time strategically to beat the intense heat of summer.
Pre-AC Techniques For Staying Cool
- The oldest method of climate control involved living underground where there was little temperature fluctuation. This technique can still be seen today in modern homes with spacious basements and split levels. Some homes are even built into hills or partially underground for the benefit of temperature control.
- Houses were designed with thick walls and tall ceilings. These special walls provided extra insulation to a home, aiding in temperature stability. In the same effort, high ceilings collected hot temperatures as they rose, high above the home’s residents.
- Windows were especially important to homeowners prior to the age of AC. They were strategically oriented for the home’s interior to have the best chance of catching a breeze. And when this wasn’t possible, whole rooms were lined in a row for optimal airflow.
- Shade also played an important role. Slatted shutters, installed on the outside of the house, were used to avoid the direct sun’s intensity. Even trees were planted near and around homes for the benefit of the shade they provided.
- Lifestyles looked a bit differently before AC as well. Since homes were often just as hot as the outside temperatures and far more stuffy, people preferred spending their time outside. The front porch was an essential aspect of every home and even served as a social gathering spot. In the evenings, families would enjoy cooler temperatures on their porch while greeting and conversing with those who passed by. Screened-in porches were implemented as well for sleeping outside during hot summer nights.
- People retreated to the movies! Though the air conditioner was invented in 1902, most people did not enjoy it in their homes until far later. However, the movie theater was always trusted to provide AC. So, people would spend the hot summer hours in an air-conditioned room while enjoying a movie! This lead to the rise of the summer blockbuster.
Before the dawn of AC, people were required to implement strategy and out-of-the-box creativity when the summer sun beat down. And though now, most homes are equipped with air conditioning, these methods are still helpful in regulating your indoor temperatures. Yet, today, when you turn to your air conditioning as the heat ramps up, remember the luxury you enjoy!
And if, during these summer months, your air conditioner fails you, do not hesitate to reach out for profession repair and replacement! We are here for your AC and temperature regulation woes, right when you need us most!