AC & Heater Repair in San Antonio

Life Before Air Conditioning

Ever wonder how people survived hot summers without the use of AC? Believe it or not, air conditioning was not invented to keep people cool. The first ones were actually created for climate control in steel and glass buildings. Air conditioners were only introduced to suburban homes after World War II, and from there it became something we couldn’t live without.

But you’re still probably wondering: how did people live before AC? They answer may surprise you:


They lived in underground homes. One of the oldest methods of climate control was to live underground. Our ancestors were comfortable in 50 degree temperatures all year round, so they lived in dugout house, which were inexpensive to build. However, these pits required a lot of labor and weren’t the most ideal choice for a house, so split-level homes and basements were created instead.

They made buildings out of thick stone. AC now allows us to use lighter, cheaper building materials, but before that, people had brick walls, high ceilings, fans, and plenty of trees for extra shade. Older homes also took advantage of the “stack effect” (the movement of air in and out of buildings). For this reason, upper level floors were solely used at night with the windows cracked open.

They had front porches. When people wanted to gather in a setting that wasn’t too hot, they would sit on the front porch. Front porches became the ideal place for social interaction, and if you didn’t have a porch, you could walk through the neighborhood and visit other neighbors who did have one. Porches were also a great place to sleep on extremely hot nights, just to catch a light breeze.

To learn more about life before air conditioning, click here. Do you think you could survive the sizzling summers without your AC? Tell us on our Facebook page. And don’t forget, if you need help installing or repairing your air conditioning this season, turn to Schmidt Mechanical, your neighborhood AC guy! For more information, give us a call at (210) 361-7002 or visit our website.

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