Homes Before Air Conditioning: What Did They Do?

Before Air Conditioning AC HVAC

Today, when we think of our homes, many people assume that their some sort of air conditioning unit will be in place to keep you cool during the hot Raleigh summers. Yet, air conditioning was invented in the 1920s and many people didn’t even have it installed into their homes until the late 20th century! This information will give you some tips and tricks to keeping you and your family cool during the summer months or just make you appreciate your air conditioner even more: 

Take A Cold Bath 

While today it is very common for an athlete or someone with a really bad fever to take an ice bath, in the most people before the 20th century were taking cold baths in large metal tubs! This did two things: instantly cooled the person down and the air temperature around them & kept the house cool by not having to heat the bathwater! Then, those families that were lucky enough to have ice chests kept them full so that the cool air would come through the basement and spread throughout the rest of the house. 

Create A Breezeway 

This should come as no surprise as many people will create breezeways in their homes during the fall and spring months in the Raleigh area. By opening windows on the bottom floor and the top floor of your home, you can create a siphon-effect where air is consistently moving through your house. Then, when fans became popular, these were used by windows also to increase the air flow or people would put a block of ice in front of the fan to help cool down the air too! 

Top and Bottom Windows 

Some older homes, especially those build before the 1940s, are known for having windows that had top and bottom openings. During the afternoons, the hottest parts of the day, the tops of the windows were opened so that the hot air could escape. Then, at night time, the bottom windows were opened and the top windows were closed so that the cool air would come in. 

Hang out on Your Covered Porch

3 Season porches and covered porches were used for more than just a place to sit and rock. The porch offered protection and shade from the direct sunlight and allowed the cool air to come into the house through the first floor (that was being shaded by the second floor). Consider many of the historic homes in the Raleigh area… many of them have wrap around porches, right? It was more for functionality that aesthetics! 


For over a decade, the HVAC professionals at Thermo Direct have provided heating and cooling services, sales, repairs, and installations to businesses and homeowners across Raleigh, Garner, and the triangle area. Our comfort system technicians will ensure that your property’s heating and air conditioning equipment is reliable and performing at its maximum efficiency. We pride ourselves on our honest team of technicians and our affordable & high quality HVAC services for all projects, both big and small.

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What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

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based on these 2 happy customer reviews.

“Our air conditioners were on the fritz, so we did some searching and price comparisons and chose Thermo Direct based on their great reputation and reasonable pricing! We were very impressed with the technician’s response time–they came the next day! This past summer was so much easier with a working A/C. I would definitely recommend Thermo Direct!”

| Rated: 3 / 3

“Thermo Direct came to my residence to repair my HVAC system, as soon as I contacted them, they were very responsive. I have used Thermo Direct for ten years as my HVAC provider and have recommended their service to a lot of my friends and colleagues.”

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Thermo Direct: Your Home Comfort One-Stop-Shop

As you may know, all heating and air companies are not the same. At Thermo Direct, we value trust, first and foremost, among our staff and our clients. The trained HVAC professionals at Thermo Direct aim to serve your home comfort needs.

If you are looking for a professional air conditioning and heating HVAC company, then please call 919-662-4112 or complete ouronline request form.


If you are looking for a Air Conditioning Company Company in the Raleigh area, please call Thermo Direct Inc. at 919-662-4112 or fill out our online request form.