Although we’re living in a world where we tend to take our air conditioning for granted nowadays, it bears remembering that it wasn’t too long ago when air conditioning was considered a luxury. As you walk into our air-conditioned buildings, you might not realize that from the days of integrating cooling systems into the very walls of our houses, to the ingenuity of architects mastering the art of architecture for better airflow, we’ve come a long way in terms of cooling our homes efficiently. With this being said, we’re going to guide you through something intriguing: the fascinating history of air conditioning, which includes an exploration of technology, solutions for the environment, and sustainable methods like evaporative cooling and natural ventilation. Together, these chapters explain how climate control became such an essential ingredient to our comfort in the space we live and work.
Our journey begins in ancient times when people used unique building materials and designs to passively maintain comfortable temperatures. The architects of this traditional world, akin to the sculptors of modern towers, employed smart solutions for the harsh climate conditions. For instance, adobe was a common ingredient, chosen for its excellent insulation properties. Thermal mass of adobe stored chill from the night and released it during the day. Many ancient homes even incorporated courtyards with fountains that served as evaporative coolers. This offered a semblance of air conditioners within the buildings’ core designs. They also made smart use of space and the environment, with earth tubes and cleverly placed openings for cross-ventilation, which involved placing windows across each other to encourage a continuous breeze.
In search of DIY ways to cool down?
Why not take inspiration from our ancestors’ sustainable approach to cooling? For example, with buildings of yore borrowing the architecture of caves – a naturally insulation-providing formation – it is something that was emulated in some historical building techniques. This tried-and-true method uses the walls and openings of buildings to catch wind, much like traditional Middle Eastern wind catchers.
Then, if you ever encounter issues with your contemporary air conditioners, remember to call upon Las Vegas HVAC repair experts to fix your system!
Ancient Air Conditioning Methods
In the early days prior to electricity, cooling a home was a feat that extended much further than simply plugging a box in to significantly drop the temperature. It had something to do with the landscape of the world and the homes in it. Many ancient homes went as far as the construction process when it came to keeping a home a cool or reasonable temperature. For example, ancient homes prevented heat by building homes within close proximity to each other and utilizing cool colors (in their structure) to keep the heat at bay. In territories such as the Middle East and Asia, homes utilized windcatchers, monumental towers that caught wind and circulated it throughout the home to keep it cool. Windcatchers were (and still are) incredibly effective as they utilize the wind energy from the environment to cool the interior of their homes.
Natural Air Conditioning Methods
In addition to this, windcatchers were also known to be used in conjunction with water canals that were based underground. The hot air brought in from the windcatchers would be navigated to the cool water canals. From here, the cool water would transform the warm air cold before it traveled throughout the home. This procedure is much like today’s solar chimney, which ingeniously captures cool air and releases the warm air through the wind catcher.
Natural air conditioning methods are commonly seen in homes built today. For example, a tree strategically planted to create shade is an excellent (and natural) way to prevent the sun from beating down on a home. Other methods such as tiny windows above doorways called transoms have also been considered natural ways to prevent hot air from circulating within a home.
One of the more interesting aspects regarding current cooling methods, courtesy of advances in technology, is that many of them have roots in cooling methods of the past. Although many don’t go as far as integrating windcatchers or underground water canals into their cooling processes, many homes still utilize trees and bushes to prevent any instances of sunlight hitting a home. Indoor plants can also have a cooling effect.
So, reflecting on the information above, air conditioning has come a long way since its early inception. Yet, you shouldn’t be resorting to these methods when your modern air conditioner gives up the ghost.
Thankfully, The Cooling Company, a family-owned and -operated establishment, is well aware of current home cooling demands in the Las Vegas, NV area. Whether your AC is broken and in need of repairs, or you’re considering incorporating more sustainable building designs to improve your home’s passive cooling, you can count on us to get your products running smoothly. Our experiences span from old-world wind catchers to the advanced air conditioners of today. Contact us at (702) 567-0707 to figure out why we’re one of the fastest-growing HVAC companies in the Las Vegas area.