How Did People Live Before Air Conditioning?

Adobe Stock

Here we are, getting out of our air conditioned cars, walking into air conditioned houses, oblivious that the great outdoors is as hot as the face of the sun. Luckily for us, a Mr. Willis Carrier invented the modern air-conditioning machine in 1902.

But what the heck did people do before air-conditioning? Good question. Turns out, not a whole lot. But they did have a few neat tricks to stay cool before the dawn of sweet sweet A/C.

Sweat and fans

Just like most people in the world, Americans used to deal with the heat by just sweating it out and using fans to keep cool.

Home construction

Older homes were often built with high ceilings and windows on opposite sides of the room to allow for cross-breezes.

Porch time

There’s nothing quite like a wrap-around porch. Even though it was sweltering outside, the temperatures could get quite a bit higher inside the house, so a lot of covered and shaded outdoor space was needed to keep things manageable. Add a nice cool glass of iced tea and it wasn’t so bad.


Just like folks nowadays, folks before A/C had to be creative and make up ways to stay cool and beat the heat. Check out our post on how to stay cool while you sleep (without A/C).

Photo by firepile

Home, Life
, ,

Related posts

A person makes a bed using peach-colored sheets, pillows and bedding are piled on top of each other, and a woman holds a pillows encased in a case.
How to pick the best sheets for hot sleepers
Woman opens curtains at open window after sleeping
What is lüften and should you be doing it for better sleep?
Pairs of pajamas for menopause
The best cooling pajamas for hot flashes
Woman sleeps in bed on white sheets
10 ways to make daylight saving time easier on your body

About the Author
Dee Francis
Dee is a bass player and occasional foodie. He loves baseball, whatever season it currently is now, and telling drummer jokes.

From our partners