How in the World Did People Survive Before Air Conditioning?

How in the World Did People Survive Before Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning may just be the greatest invention since sliced bread--at least, that’s what a lot of people think by the time summer rolls around. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, two-thirds of all U.S. homes now have air conditioners, but it wasn’t that long ago that air conditioning didn’t even exist. Have you ever found yourself wondering what you would’ve done back then to keep cool?

Here are just a few of the ways people “beat the heat” before air conditioning became widely used!

Living Underground or In Caves

This is one of the oldest heat-beating tricks in human history, and if you own a basement or a home built into a hillside, you can get an idea of how it works. Our ancestors learned that a subterranean or thick-walled home offers more stable temperatures year round when compared to a home above ground.

The Turks took this idea to the next level (literally) and built an entire underground city; it reached more than 250 feet in depth and was able to hold up to 20,000 people.

Living in Homes with Tall Ceilings

Have you ever noticed that many older buildings and homes have tall ceilings? Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, this structural choice has a practical purpose. A room with a tall ceiling allows heat to rise and make the lower portion of the room feel cooler. Homes with open stairwells were also able to capture a similar phenomenon.


Has the heat in summer ever made you feel sleepy and sluggish? Some cultures decided that instead of trying to “beat the heat,” they’d just reshape their lives around it and rest or nap during the hottest time of day (the afternoon). This largely benefitted laborers, who would be able to return to work in the evening with more vigor than they would have had during the afternoon (although those who didn’t have to labor adopted the custom as well).

Much of Spain still keeps the tradition of an afternoon rest period (siesta), and you can find many businesses in Italy that close during the afternoon as well.

Spending Time on the Porch

Nowadays a front porch adds charm and curb appeal to a home, but before air conditioning was widely adopted, the porch was a place where people could escape from the stifling heat indoors. This made porches a popular gathering place for families, friends, and neighbors. People would even sleep on their porches when the heat indoors was too much to bear.

Is a broken AC making you feel like you’ve traveled back in history to a time before air conditioning? Give Dye Service a call 24/7 for an expert repair: 256-286-4296.


Contact Us Today!

We offer free estimates on replacements!
    • Please enter your name.
    • Please enter your name.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.