How Did Ohio Homes Keep Cool Before Air Conditioning

When you’re in the throws of summer heat and humidity, it’s easy to take AC systems for granted. When they break, you’re reminded of what life was like without air conditioning in Ohio – and it’s an opportunity to be grateful.

Life Before Air Conditioning in Ohio

So, what was life like before AC anyway? Here’s a little history lesson about Ohio homes and how residents survived summers without cool, forced air.

Homes Were More Intentionally Designed

Have you noticed the phrase passive solar design floating around lately? Part of building an efficient home includes smart designs that promote natural cooling techniques or principles. Awnings, overhangs, high-ceilings that allow heat to rise and/or opening windows on opposite sides of a room – all are architectural tactics that aren’t often employed today without pre-planning and a whole-home energy-savings approach.

Fans Were a Must-Have

Electric fans were invented in the late-1800s and were an immediate hit because of their cooling effects. Did you know fans change the feels like temperature in a room? Skin experiences a cooling effect as air moves over it. Thus, if room temperature is 76° F and you use a fan in occupied rooms, people in the room feel like it’s closer to 72° F. In fact, you can use this tactic to save money by reducing thermostat settings four degrees whenever rooms are occupied.

Porch-Sitting Was a Favorite Pastime

Porches were the hang-out, and often sleeping spots, for most households. Conversations, meals, neighborly chit-chat – nearly everything took place on the porch in summertime. Screened-in, wrap-around porches provided shady, breezy summertime enclosures along with added pest protection. Eventually, electric ceiling fans further improved the comfort of porch-sitting.

Movie Theaters Were Popular Destinations

While it took a while for AC to become a residential norm, savvy movie theater owners saw the potential benefits of maintaining air-conditioned businesses. Thus, movie theaters were packed during summer afternoons, as much for the cool air as for big-screen entertainment value.

Maintaining the AC is the best way to avoid your own version of pre-air conditioned life. Contact PK Wadsworth to schedule an HVAC tune-up today.

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