It is fair to say that before air conditioning was the norm in many homes and properties, there were a range of ways property owners could cool their homes to ensure the building was comfortable during the warmer months of summer.
From building properties in certain ways to ensure thermal mass was optimised to laying out properties to protect them from the harsh sunlight, keeping a property cool can offer tremendous benefits to the property as well as the occupants.
Some of the ways homes were cooled before air conditioning are outlined below:
• Building properties with thick walls – this was a simple and effective way to cool homes before air conditioners. Consider the coolness of a cave or a space that has super thick walls, in much the same way ensuring the thermal mass was stable by building properties with thick brick or thick wall materials was a way to stabilise and cool down a property and keep the temperature low.
• Installing porches with wrap-around awnings – this was a great way to protect the rooms of a property from direct sunlight and will allow for the air to circulate within the home or property. Consider the homestead of the early 1900s in Australia; many had wrap-around porches with awnings covering the windows so that direct sunlight hitting the windows was kept to a minimum so that internal rooms could be kept cool and free from harsh rays from the sun.
• Building to optimise ventilation and breeze – this is another great way that homes were cooled before there was air conditioning. Opening the windows at both ends of the house and ensuring there is draft or breeze running through the home will allow for a cooler internal temperature and hopefully keep internal temperatures a little lower during the warmer months of the year.
• High ceilings in a home – this would allow for the hot air to rise and then escape allowing for the cooler air to flow through the lower parts of the room – while many homes were built with high ceilings, this isn’t always possible if you live in a unit or a modern home that has lower ceilings.
• Block out curtains – effective and easy to install, block out curtains in bedrooms, in particular, are a simple way to protect specific rooms from the run and reduce the sun’s harsh rays from specific rooms. For specific areas of a house where there is direct sunlight, this was an effective way to keep air cool before air conditioning was readily available.
Modern cooling solutions to keep your home comfortable
Design innovations have been developed over the last 100 years to deal with the harsh sun and heat in Australia. Overhanging rooflines, and smaller windows help to cool a living area and keep down the heating and cooling costs of a property. As well as this, adding verandahs to properties and using fly screens to enhance the ventilation in properties, work to ensure natural cooling and airflow is optimised.
At the end of the day, if you are in a property that struggles with airflow or you are having difficulty cooling a home on a super hot day, using air conditioning is a great option.
There are plenty of great ways to keep costs down for air conditioning, including the following:
• Set your air conditioning unit using a programmable thermostat to ensure you are optimising your energy efficiency. If you set your unit at 22 degrees to 24 degrees, you will be able to save around 10% per degree. To get more bang for your buck, a self-timer is also a great way to cool your home and then turn off the system when automatically if you are heading out or an hour or so after you fall asleep.
• Keep your air conditioning unit well maintained, so it runs efficiently during the hotter months – by conducting regular air conditioning maintenance including cleaning any filter; you can make sure your system is working without the need for high electricity costs and energy costs.
These days, there is a wide range of air conditioning options available for homes or properties of all sizes, including ducted systems, individual split system units and much more. No matter where you live in Australia, there is an option for every budget and need.
Whether you are looking for a single room air conditioning unit, or you want a whole home installed with ducted air conditioning, there are plenty of great options for new installations or retrofit for your property.
Rite Price Heating and Cooling is the leading provider of air conditioners in Adelaide. With stores across Adelaide, and a strong history of quality service and customer satisfaction, Rite Price is your preferred choice when you are in the market for heating or cooling solutions. Get in touch today to arrange a free quote for your air conditioning or heating needs.