What a time to be alive! Climate control – and the associated comfort – is the most natural thing in the world today. It’s second nature for us to use air conditioning in our car, central heating in our houses, and air handling units in our office and on our vessels without thinking. But how did our ancestors manage without climate control? After all, air conditioning was only invented 100 years ago. What was life like before climate control? Here are five solutions ancient civilizations used.
A cool breeze on a hot day can be very invigorating, don’t you think? Ceiling fans in old hotels certainly have their charm. The Persians were well aware of this, but had no fans at their disposal – so they figured out a way to get air to move by using the forces of nature. They built high towers with openings on the top to catch the wind, which of course blows stronger at higher altitudes. Cool air would be carried down through the towers and into the houses below, the pleasant draft refreshing the inhabitants.
The Egyptian desert can be searing hot. Fortunately, in addition to being great pyramid builders, the Egyptians also knew a thing or two about cooling. If you’re familiar with the principles of a cooling machine, you know they’re based on evaporation. In Egypt they used the same concept to cool their houses. They would hang wet reeds in their windows, and as the water from them evaporated, it would pull heat out of the environment, creating a similar effect as a modern cooling machine.