How Was Life Before Air Conditioning?

Close your eyes and think about what life would be like without air conditioning? It’s hard to imagine, but turn the clock back 100 years and that was the reality. If you’re wondering how people kept cool in the warm weather months, here’s how:

Home Construction
Houses and buildings were designed differently when air conditioning wasn’t around.

  • Ceilings were higher to allow for warm air to rise.
  • Porches were wider with deeper eaves in order for the windows to stay out of the sun.
  • Trees were planted closer to the house for increased shade.
  • Windows were on both sides of a room to allow for cross ventilation.

Porch Lounging
If your home has a porch it’s used more or less for decoration and the occasional sitting here and there. Back in the days before AC, the porch was a place to cool off.

  • The porch allows you to sit outside and feel the breeze without sitting in the sun.
  • The temperature inside can become stuffy whereas outside there’s a steady supply of fresh air. There’s only so much a few open windows can do.
  • Screened-in porches were also used as a place to sleep at night when it became too hot indoors. Think of this as a nighttime, air conditioned room.

Creative Methods

There is no substitute that can compare to air conditioning, but folks back in the day had a list of creative ways to stay cool.

  • During the hottest portion of the day, many would stop working, take a nap, and resume their work once the temperature began to drop.
  • Drinking ice cold drinks can help lower your internal body temperature. Think about why drinking lemonade on the porch is a popular thing to do down south.
  • Some girls would even braid their hair and stuff it with ice cubes!

The days without air conditioning seemed like a simpler time, but was it easy to stay cool? Luckily, we live in a day and age where that’s not an issue — unless yours is broken. When your AC unit needs repair, contact the professionals at Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (717) 207-8198 to service your home’s electrical today.

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