Aren’t we lucky to be living in 2016? Whenever the days start to roll in to summer and the temperature starts to get uncomfortable, all we have to do is flip a switch and our homes and workplaces can be filled with the glorious cool air that modern air conditioning provides. We should therefore, spare a though for people of the past who were not so lucky and had to think of other ways to keep cool in the summer heat. Here is a brief list of some of the cooling down techniques used before large scale air conditioning became a reality. Thanks to split system air conditioners, these are pretty much a thing of the past!
1. Middle Eastern Wind Towers
Super-hot communities in places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar used to build extravagant and clever wind towers that used physics and direction to channel the wind downwards and into the places where residents lived and worked. Great for relaxing and for food storage purposes.
2. Arizona Wet Sheets
Parts of Arizona are among the hottest places on the earth, and some savvy residents used to dip their bed sheets in cold water and proceed to sleep in them whilst they were still soggy and wet. This kept them nice and cool during the hot nights and allowed them to get some decent sleep. This was a common practise in the 19th century when there were no other options for cooling down in the harsh desert sun.
3. Human Operated Ceiling Fans
It sounds completely ludicrous now, but the sad fact is that in some hot countries and town, rich families and establishments used to employ people (and sometimes not employ but force) to manually operate huge ceiling fans that were brought in to their homes. This might have helped the recipients to cool down of course, but the act of making the fans work will not have done anything to cool down the poor people who were forced to operate them!
4. Electric Fans
Admittedly there are still millions of stand-alone electric fans being used across the world, but in comparison to a reverse cycle air conditioner, the power of a single fan feels so old fashioned in 2016! An electric fan might provide a person with some direct relief in one direction, but nothing can compare to the feeling of a room being filled with glorious cool air.
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