How Did Ancient Civilizations Keep Cool before AC?

Temperatures have soared in the Seattle area in recent weeks, prompting many to spring for their first central air conditioning system, upgrade an aging AC system or schedule maintenance to keep their system in tip-top shape throughout the hot months. As you find relief from the summer heat in your air conditioned home, you might wonder — how did people cool their homes before air conditioners were invented?

When in Rome…

Obviously, central air wasn’t an option in ancient Rome. However, a civilization as refined as the Romans didn’t let that stop them from inventing ways to cool their homes — well, at least the homes of the wealthy, according to Environmental Graffiti. The Romans apparently utilized their famous aqueduct system to pump water into the walls inside the homes of affluent city residents. This cool water chilled the home’s brickwork, which in turn cooled the home. If you think the Romans were ahead of curve, remember their other pioneering innovations like complex road and highway systems, the Roman arch and even many early surgical tools.

Sophisticated Fans in China

Ding Huan, of the Han Dynasty in ancient China, is remembered in history as both an artist and inventor. He applied his talents to create a cooling apparatus — a seven-wheeled rotary fan that was powered manually, the Environmental Graffiti article explained. Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty evidently admired the concept and had rotary fan wheels that were powered by water installed in his palace in an area dubbed the Cool Hall.

Persian Wind Towers

In medieval Persia, folks used wind towers to cool down. Windows allowed the tower to collect wind, while vanes inside the tower channeled the winds into the inner chambers of the tower to cool anyone inside. These handy vanes even managed to draw hot air out of the chambers as well. Towers like these can still be seen in the modern-day Middle East!

Brennan Heating and Air Conditioning Can Cool You Down

While only the wealthy could usually benefit from ancient cooling technology back in the day, Brennan Heating and Air Conditioning makes it easy for people to stay cool in their homes today. We offer environmentally-friendly air conditioners and provide free energy consultations to help you find the perfect air conditioning system for your home. Brennan Heating is an award-winning Seattle heating and air conditioning installation and service contractor. Contact us online or by phone at 1-877-BRENNAN.


About brennanheatingandairconditioning

Brennan Heating and Air Conditioning provides quality heating, cooling, and electrical services to the greater Seattle area.
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