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(AccuWeather)   So how did people stay cool in the summer before air conditioning was invented?   (accuweather.com) divider line
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1731 clicks; posted to STEM » on 04 Jul 2022 at 11:20 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-07-04 6:20:10 PM  
Get under ground.  Cellars stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, with all that natural insulation around them.
 
2022-07-04 6:23:50 PM  
It was cooler back when everything was black and white
 
2022-07-04 6:33:33 PM  
Family Guy - Beating The Heat
Youtube lT5XzEcMvOA
 
2022-07-04 6:36:35 PM  

aleister_greynight: Get under ground.  Cellars stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, with all that natural insulation around them.


This! I lived in the basement of a farmhouse that was built in 1912 and even on the hottest summer days all I had to do was walk down the stairs into that basement and it was better than AC.

I remember once filling up a wheelbarrow full of water and climbing into it as a kid.
 
2022-07-04 6:59:10 PM  
Architects also incorporated front porches onto houses to give homeowners some relief from the heat.

Besides somewhere to sit in the shade, porches keep the south-facing windows shaded, keeping the whole house from getting too warm.  It works wonders in my first floor apartment vs. when I had direct sunlight into my second story windows.
 
2022-07-04 7:01:10 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
Weight lifting. 12 oz at a time. Repeat as necessary.
 
2022-07-04 7:12:44 PM  
Disintegration.
lay on a hardwood floor under a ceiling fan with some iced tea close, and play Disintegration by the Cure. does not predate air conditioning, but if your home does, this is highly effective.
 
2022-07-04 7:15:37 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size

Listening to these guys was very cool as well.  From the left, unknown bassist, Bird and Miles
 
2022-07-04 7:20:01 PM  

Farkenhostile: aleister_greynight: Get under ground.  Cellars stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, with all that natural insulation around them.

This! I lived in the basement of a farmhouse that was built in 1912 and even on the hottest summer days all I had to do was walk down the stairs into that basement and it was better than AC.

I remember once filling up a wheelbarrow full of water and climbing into it as a kid.


Caves maintain the regional average yearly temperature, I imagine rooms underground vary a little more, but probably not too much.  All that solid earth around you takes a long time to heat up and cool down.
 
2022-07-04 7:20:26 PM  
Whole house attic fans and swamp coolers work really well when there's no AC.
 
2022-07-04 7:38:34 PM  
They turned off the TV, opened some windows, and if there was a breeze, sat on the porch.
 
2022-07-04 8:45:30 PM  
Sleeping Porches. Screened in porches to keep the bugs away and beds on wheels you could wheel outside.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-07-04 8:57:35 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-07-04 9:46:35 PM  
Wind towers were pretty cool. Literally. They were kind of engineering marvels. And fairly simple too.

Double perforated walls, were popular in India. Those cool cut out designs on walls? They were there to let air in, and take the sting out of the sun, and the interior walls were saved from the heating up too badly, and could have hallways open for circulation.

The Navajo built mud huts, with trenches under them that were vented that drew cooler air, and sometimes would pour water into those trenches to get even more of a cooling effect.

Houses on stilts. Not just for high water, but raised up you don't get as much surface heat, there's a shady bit below the house, and you can catch a breeze, and the interior was large enough to allow those breezes to carry heat right out, given decent venting.

To be fair, Florida, Arizona and Nevada would barely be populated without air conditioning. And were pretty sparse for population until air conditioning made them domestically viable.
 
2022-07-04 10:20:10 PM  
My mom said I was cool.
 
2022-07-04 11:03:28 PM  
Fans in windows to force a breeze. I slept on a cot on the porch several times with just a sheet to help protect from mosquitoes. When my wife was a kid, the would jump in the pool before bed to cool down.
 
2022-07-04 11:45:58 PM  
Opium.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-07-04 11:49:52 PM  
Perhaps windmills kept them cool?
 
2022-07-04 11:54:57 PM  
th.bing.comView Full Size
 
2022-07-05 12:10:57 AM  
Nobody has said swamp coolers?

Rig up a fan, or even some moist towels hung up in a room. The evaporation cools the air around it.

You can do the same with an adobe or clay/ceramic pot filled with water. Enough of those will cool things quite a bit.
 
2022-07-05 12:17:03 AM  
Grew up in a raised split level ranch, no A/C.  Basement was cooler by about 10-20 degrees, and we would have a de-humidifier going to keep the moisture down. 

and constantly cooled by box fans.  i think we had one for each bedroom, one for the kitchen, and another in the living room.

Upgraded the Central A/C in my new home that my wife bought 12 years ago.  Decadent life
 
2022-07-05 12:21:26 AM  
Send the kids to a swimming hole or river, or let them jump off a bridge.

Get into the forest. A forest with a creek or river is quite a bit cooler than out in the sun on a road.

Run through a sprinkler. Slip and slide. Otter pops. Bomb pops.

Growing up in Denver, it seemed like the temperature in the shade was about 20 degrees lower than in the sun, and all kinds of evaporation worked great.

It used to be that you could get in a truck tube and jump into Bear Creek at about Wadsworth and float all the way to ... about Santa Fe? Just meander all afternoon down the creek, throw the tubes in the truck and do it again.

Not before AC but before I had AC.
 
2022-07-05 12:25:59 AM  
It seems like taking a nap under a tree in New York would be a trifle unsafe even back then
 
2022-07-05 12:29:04 AM  

2fardownthread: Nobody has said swamp coolers?

Rig up a fan, or even some moist towels hung up in a room. The evaporation cools the air around it.

You can do the same with an adobe or clay/ceramic pot filled with water. Enough of those will cool things quite a bit.


Difficulty: The humid south
 
2022-07-05 12:41:50 AM  
Sweating, we sweat a lot. Does have cooling effects. In Israel you could see Jews in shorts and t-shirts drinking lemonade while Arabs wearing woolen robes drank hot tea.
 
2022-07-05 1:24:07 AM  

cryinoutloud: Opium.

[Fark user image 499x373]


That's fine for the smokers, but do you know how labor intensive opium production is?
 
2022-07-05 1:26:00 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: 2fardownthread: Nobody has said swamp coolers?

Rig up a fan, or even some moist towels hung up in a room. The evaporation cools the air around it.

You can do the same with an adobe or clay/ceramic pot filled with water. Enough of those will cool things quite a bit.

Difficulty: The humid south


If it's too hot/humid for the air movement to cool your skin through evaporating sweat, it cooks you like a convection oven.  That's why desert people wear robes.
 
2022-07-05 1:32:14 AM  

2fardownthread: Nobody has said swamp coolers?

Rig up a fan, or even some moist towels hung up in a room. The evaporation cools the air around it.

You can do the same with an adobe or clay/ceramic pot filled with water. Enough of those will cool things quite a bit.


That works well until as long as the dew point remains low.  Problem is, some of the hottest months in the American desert southwest is during monsoon season when a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California makes it way in and it feels like Houston.

I found that an incredibly well insulated home with a lot of thermal mass within the conditioned space, lots of shade, high ceilings, and energy miser appliances goes a long ways.  If I had a basement, that'd be even better.
 
2022-07-05 1:36:35 AM  
stat.ameba.jpView Full Size
 
2022-07-05 1:45:47 AM  

teto85: [Fark user image 850x810]Weight lifting. 12 oz at a time. Repeat as necessary.


Referred to as the 12 oz curl, in my exercising circles.
 
2022-07-05 5:14:24 AM  
cms.accuweather.comView Full Size


Do you want Spanish Flu? Because that's how you get Spanish Flu.
 
2022-07-05 7:49:07 AM  
I've skipped the AC altogether in several rooms, mostly upstairs, replacing them with dual recirculating fans; even leaving them running all day, the combined power usage is still a fraction of a single AC unit.  Although it can't do anything for humidity, the air movement and exchange is still enough to lower room temps up to 15-20 degrees.

Except for one bedroom, the only place we run AC is downstairs in the main living area.  At the same time, we leave upstairs windows OPEN to allow hot air to escape.  We don't have to worry about "cooling the outside" because it's only the excess heat we didn't want anyways climbing up the stairwell.  We have been very comfortable and our electric bill, despite the ass-reaming Eversource has been giving people in CT, is significantly lower than 2021 so far.
 
2022-07-05 8:30:55 AM  
When I was a kid, A/C was invented, but we didn't have it. Some of the households we stayed at as teens had air, but not all of them. During the summer, we kids flipped our days and nights. A few of the adults were enraged by the practice. My own father, laboring under the delusion that he was insulting us, would spit through his teeth "Vampires, rising at sunset like vampires!"

Houses hold heat. So, we would sleep outside. We'd wander into a deeply shaded area, wrap ourselves in sheets against the bugs, and sleep on the ground. If someone, like my father, forced us to be awake during the day, we'd walk through the woods to a creek. We'd sit and wallow in the little creek. We also filled empty plastic milk jugs with water. Each of us would carry a gallon of frozen water and drink it as it melted.

It seemed normal at the time. Now, my kids, nieces, and nephews can't believe it. They alternately accuse my siblings and I of making it up or demand to know what novel we read it in. I have one 25 year old nephew that has come to understand we're being truthful. He laughs at such stories and tends to say "Wow, that explains a lot."
 
2022-07-05 8:45:42 AM  
Down here on the Gulf of Mexico, before electricity you had to build your house for the climate.

Everything was designed to keep the sun out during the day and to shed heat as quickly as possible at night.

s3.amazonaws.comView Full Size


Those huge porches that went all the way around the house acted as a whole house awning to keep the sun from blasting heat in through the downstairs windows.

Rooms had very tall ceilings and there was a central space that ran all the way up to the top of the house to allow hot air to rise up and be exhausted to the outside which would pull outside air in through the downstairs windows.

You built the house raised off the ground so you could radiate heat in every direction at night.

The house had to have a minimalist outdoor kitchen with a cooktop and oven so you could cook in the summer without heating the interior of the house.

You had a screened in porch with beds so you could sleep outside without the mosquitoes eating you alive.

The first big addition after electricity was an industrial grade whole house attic fan that would push hot air out of the top of the house through the attic with so much force that a stiff wind would come pouring in through any open windows.  Instead of sleeping on a sleeping porch, you could just turn the fan on and open the bedroom windows.  In the early summer it was still dropping down into the 60's and 70's at night, and a cool humid wind would have you burrowing under the blankets in no time.
 
2022-07-05 9:01:06 AM  
Kind of a cool new thing, is the way 3D printed concrete houses are just starting to be made with exterior walls having an inner and outer portion with an air gap between that is being filled with insulating foam.

If we're going to increase the efficiency of a/c, we need to do a better job of keeping the a/c in and the heat out.

Is this the future of Construction? 3D Concrete Printed Homes
Youtube _MsOXrprYXs
 
2022-07-05 10:01:36 AM  
I still don't have A/C. We just don't leave the basement when it's very hot.
 
2022-07-05 10:08:39 AM  
In the 19th century, houses in the American West were built with broad eaves extending up to ten feet from the walls on all side if the house. There was usually a porch matching the roof's extent as well. The shaded area under the eaves created a pressure differential, and the residents could open windows on opposite sides of the house to get a decent cross breeze going. With the advent of air conditioning, builders have drastically reduced the width of the eaves, so it's difficult to get similar breezes through the houses.

Some places in the Middle East have built internal walls of stone or brick to generate the same effect. The area within those internal walls are often ten degrees cooler than the outer areas. Note this only works when humidity is low. Once humidity gets above 50% or so, that sort of internal wall design just traps humidity and heat inside.

In a lot of the Mediterranean, wealthy residents would put water reservoirs on the roof, then let the water drip off the eaves to generate cooler temperatures. Keeping the reservoirs filled was a challenge, which is one reason only wealthy people tried it.

Then there's the sixty-thousand-year-old + technique of living in a cave- or at least partly underground.  A few meters into most caves, the temperature is a fairly stable 50-60 degrees (F), all year long. Build your house into the side of a hill, and have the living level of the house be slightly higher than the grade at the entry gets a similar effect. You want the living area higher than the entry to avoid water intrusion.
 
2022-07-05 10:50:59 AM  

BullBearMS: Kind of a cool new thing, is the way 3D printed concrete houses are just starting to be made with exterior walls having an inner and outer portion with an air gap between that is being filled with insulating foam.

If we're going to increase the efficiency of a/c, we need to do a better job of keeping the a/c in and the heat out.

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/_MsOXrprYXs?autoplay=1&widget_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&start=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&widgetid=1]


They even put electrical wiring and maybe some plumbing in. The last 3D printed house video I saw didn't show any of that. I'd like to see how the walls look with their "elastomeric paint" on them, and if you can prime that stuff and go over it with latex some time in the future when you're bored with the original colors.
 
2022-07-05 10:59:43 AM  
People also dressed for the heat with clothes purpose built for the season, and not just wearing shorts and T-shirts,

You can wear any natural fabric if the clothing is made to be summer weight. Those old-timey pictures of folks in full suits and dresses are folks wearing summer weight versions that were way more breathable that some shorts and Ts we wear nowadays.


A lot of modern clothing doesn't even acknowledge the difference any more. It's still made, usually because summer weight uses less material, and the people who know still seek it out, but you have to analyze how an item was made to figure it out. Marketing has mostly abandoned using "summer" to describe clothing's functionality instead using it to describe the fashion. There's still significant overlap because what we think of as summer fashion was decided when functionality still ruled, but it's usually not on the label.

I've worn khaki shorts that were so densely woven and heavy that they absolutely roasted my balls and I've worn full-pants jeans that were perfectly comfortable.

Heat was also why undershirts were still a thing in summer. Your bottom layer took all the sweat and stank while the top layer stayed fresher. If you were really hot you could just take the top shirt off and hang it until you had to wear it to be presentable. You could also constantly change your cheaper undershirts to stay fresh and get longer use of your top-layer clothes between washings. It also protects those nicer shirts from pit stains and the like.

And lastly intolerance of BO is a fairly modern notion in the western world. Historically human civilization was much smellier.
 
2022-07-05 12:46:54 PM  

steve_wmn: BullBearMS: Kind of a cool new thing, is the way 3D printed concrete houses are just starting to be made with exterior walls having an inner and outer portion with an air gap between that is being filled with insulating foam.

If we're going to increase the efficiency of a/c, we need to do a better job of keeping the a/c in and the heat out.

[iFrame https://www.youtube.com/embed/_MsOXrprYXs?autoplay=1&widget_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&start=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fark.com&widgetid=1]

They even put electrical wiring and maybe some plumbing in. The last 3D printed house video I saw didn't show any of that. I'd like to see how the walls look with their "elastomeric paint" on them, and if you can prime that stuff and go over it with latex some time in the future when you're bored with the original colors.


They did a follow up video after those homes were completed showing how they finished them out.


Update on 3D CONCRETE PRINTED Houses - They're GORGEOUS
Youtube QCWKJvsqjb4


They looked fine just painted, although they said you could adhere stucco finishes directly to the wall without any prep work.
 
2022-07-05 12:53:43 PM  
They also went back to see the same company do a more high end home where they played with different possible interior finishes and a more interesting non-linear design.

World's FIRST Home SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to be 3-D PRINTED!
Youtube N47Mhc7QEds
 
2022-07-05 5:52:52 PM  
no basements or ac here so when its hot, ill take a nice clean tshirt, wet it, wring it, and wear it over my shoulders egyptian style. works great for an hour or so, repeat as necessary, best worn with a big straw hat when outside.
housewise, no ac, so i open all the windows at night and close them when i get up for my 4 am constitutional. keep bedroom windows shut and blinded, dark room is cooler. ceiling fan on low.
between about 2 and 4 it gets a little warm, after 4 open the windows again as the sun isnt beating down anymore.  it all works very nicely...
 
2022-07-05 7:20:29 PM  
Lot of people died still do
 
2022-07-05 7:32:54 PM  
I recall taking a tour of some caverns in Bristol TN one area was rather large and the guide said the mayor would hold meetings in the cavern during the summer.
 
2022-07-05 8:05:52 PM  
List doesn't mention basements. If you live where basements are practical, simply going down the stairs is a ten degree drop and costs nothing.
 
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