With the warmer months approaching, it is easy to be reminded of the comforts an air conditioning unit can bring. Over two-thirds of American homes that have air conditioner with heating and cooling account for 48% of the energy used in a typical U.S home, making it the largest energy expense for homeowners. With air conditioning being so popular in American culture, it makes you think about how people coped with the sweltering weather before air conditioning units were invented. Here are some ways our ancestors dealt with the hot weather in the olden days.
The oldest method of home climate control is living underground. Cave dwellers would benefit from a cool 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature year round. This approach included split-level dwellings with spacious basements built into a hillside. Air conditioning was invented in 1902 as a way to control the air quality in large buildings. The positive effects on the workers were incidental and didn’t become prevalent in American homes until after World War II with the age of suburban tract housing.
More recently, architects have been using thick stone, adobe, or brick when creating homes and buildings. Rooms were also designed to have higher ceilings as the heat would rise and have minimum impact on the dwellers below. Ceiling fans accentuate this fact because they pull hot air up during the summer, and push warm air down during the winter. Additionally, older homes took advantage of the stack effect by opening their stairwells to vent hot air upstairs. Rooms on the top of the house were only used during the night with the windows open.
Homeowners would also figure out how to plant trees to block the harsh sun. Shade trees were planted on the west and east sides of the house to prevent the sun from warming the homes interior. Enjoying a cool breeze on a shaded porch was also a common occurrence, and it eventually evolved into a social practice.
However, in a world of a rising population and climate change, there are less opportunities to rely on mother nature to stay cool. That’s why it is important to invest in properly maintain your AC unit. Choose a reliable air conditioning company to help with all of your air conditioning needs, such as installation and AC repair. Their inspection services can save you money as over 25% of your home’s heat is lost through small cracks and holes! Most importantly, they can ensure that your unit is working efficiently and correctly!