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Air Conditioning Fun Facts: How Your Great-Grandparents Stayed Cool

Cooling System Fun Facts

Different societies throughout time have used various air conditioning methods in order to stay cool. While many of these methods have changed somewhat, they were precursors to the air conditioning systems we have today.

1. Cave Dwellers Used Geothermal Cooling

Beginning around 10,000 B.C., hunters and gatherers began making homes in cool caves and building burrows underground to escape the heat. Now, much of the world is using similar geothermal cooling, utilizing pipes to bring natural temperatures to the surface.

2. The Egyptians Created Water-Cooled Air Conditioning

Ancient Egyptians hung wet reeds from windows in order to cool the breeze that wafted inside. They thus implemented water-cooled air conditioning, which no doubt helped them beat the heat of the extremely warm Nile River valley.

3. Ancient Greeks and Romans Had Ducting Systems

Ancient Greeks used water pipes from aqueducts to create central heating and cooling. The Romans then further developed that idea with a hypocaust system. They used mosaic tiled stone floors in their public bathhouses and luxury villas, which were supported by columns. Heated air was transported through the space underneath to warm the interior of the structures, just like modern HVAC systems do through ductwork.

4. The Chinese Invented Fans

The Chinese invented handheld fans about 3,000 years ago, after they realized that moving air naturally cools the skin. Hand-powered rotary fans followed, and fans are of course central to most contemporary air conditioning systems.

5. Middle Eastern Architecture Featured Cooling Towers

Traditional Middle Eastern buildings often had towers built over channels of cool air underground. These towers were built for catching and circulating cool breezes, drawing the cool air up from the channels and pushing warm air out. While they've changed, “cooling towers” still exist for cooling large buildings.

6. The Victorians Understood Airflow

Victorian homes were built to maximize airflow. They kept out the sun with covered porches, had cross ventilation through large recessed windows and had high ceilings. Cross ventilation and airflow are still important components of successful cooling.

Contact Zodiac Heating and Air Conditioning to take advantage of modern day heating and cooling systems. We've been serving customers in Calabasas and the greater Los Angeles area since 1984, and our NATE certified technicians can keep your home's systems customized and up to date. For more blog posts, tips and specials, follow us on Facebook.

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