How Did People Keep a Cool House Before A/C?

It's hard to believe, but there was a time when people didn't rely on air-con to cool their homes. Our ancestors faced the summer heat with plenty of smart strategies to maximize natural coolness at a time when A/C technology didn't exist. We appreciate that you might want your closest professional engineers for External link opens in new tab or windowHVAC when the temperature rises. But if you're going to make the most of your A/C without generating unnecessary energy waste, you should also get familiar with some of these tips to keep your home cool.


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Maximize Natural Ventilation

Natural air conditioning uses existing air circulation inside and outside your home to improve airflow. You have probably noticed that a lot of older properties have high ceilings. This architectural element plays a crucial role in cooling down the room, as heat collects beneath the ceiling, which keeps the rest of the room cool and fresh. Open stairwells and large wall vents around old chimneys offered effective ventilation and air movement.


Unfortunately, if you don't live in a 17th century home, you can't use internal air convection to cool down your house. However, you can still maximize strategic natural ventilation, letting the cool air in in the morning and the evening. Keeping your windows shut during the hottest hours of the day to keep the heat out.


Use Underground Structures

Underground or partially underground structures are not directly heated by the sun. Our ancestors lived in caves and underground settlements to control the temperature inside their homes. Modern properties can capitalize on the presence of an insulated basement. A basement conversion offers a cooling alternative in summer.


Old Stone-Walled Properties Have it Better

Stone walls are a popular choice for old properties built around the Mediterranean Sea. Aside from their timeless elegance, stone walls are also referred to as External link opens in new tab or windowthermal mass. Indeed, heavy and dense materials such as stone or concrete can help maintain a cool temperature in summer. The wall absorbs the heat during the day, which physically reduces the temperature inside the house. Thermal mass radiates the heat once the external temperature decreases, keeping homeowners comfortable at night too.


Our Ancestors Loved Tall Trees

Trees have beneficial cooling effects in summer. Sitting in the shade of a tree is enjoyable. Therefore, homeowners who have tall trees in their gardens can enjoy the cooling shade on the walls and roof. By blocking the sun from radiating on top of the house, External link opens in new tab or windowtrees can cool down the surface. Additionally, trees also evaporate water through their leaves, which can reduce the perceived temperature by up to 9 degrees.


Relocate Outside During the Cool Hours

Last but not least, homeowners who have a porch or a garden can travel back in time, sitting outside the house in the evening. Previous generations used the time to relax and cool down at the end of the day. Outdoor extensions can help bring the body temperature down, transforming your perception of the indoor temperature.


In conclusion, we can learn a few tricks from how previous generations used to handle high temperatures. From maximizing natural ventilation to enjoying the freshness of a tall tree, these techniques can help cut down A/C energy costs.