While today we enjoy the comfort of our air conditioned homes during the hot summer months, it’s hard to imagine that this luxury has really only been available to the masses in its current form since the late 1960s. Prior to the mass production and advances in cooling systems for residential neighborhoods, homeowners had to get creative to endure the months of temperatures over 100 degrees.
Early settlers created a crude version of evaporative cooling for their homes by drenching sheets and burlap sacks with water and hanging them from their windows in an attempt to let the cross breeze cool their interiors.
Orienting the home in the North-South direction, and planting trees, helped in limiting direct sunlight exposure. In older homes, you may notice the lower ceilings; this was an effort to control heat build-up on the inside of the home.