In the midst of the summer months in Saskatoon, temperatures can get pretty high. In fact, there are often a few days per year that are simply unbearable: the heat is high, the sun is blinding overhead and the high humidity makes everything seem even warmer. On these days, it’s easy enough to stay inside, safe within the confines of your air conditioned home. But what did people do before air conditioning services in Saskatoon? How did people stay cool on unbearably hot days without central air or at the very least, a window AC unit?
When people first started to build homes that were more than just huts and cabins, they invented a basic structure that would support the rest of the home: we know this to be the basement, today. Because basements are located underground, they’re naturally cooler because they retain moisture levels and don’t have to worry about incoming sunlight. Early homebuilders noticed this fact as well and thus took shelter in their basements as much as possible in the summer months because it offered them an escape from the heat.
Basement dwelling wasn’t the only option before air conditioning services in Saskatoon. A method of convection was also used to create cooling effects in homes—one that dates back to the times of ancient Rome! Placing large pots and buckets of water near a flowing source of air, like in a doorway or on a window sill, caused the air being blown in to become moist and damp, thus giving it a cooling effect. Pretty ingenious for an ancient civilization, don’t you think?
Let’s not forget about fanning, as well. In Japan, paper fans were an easy way to generate a personalized, cooling breeze when the air became hot and stagnant. Circulating air in small spaces, by simply flapping the fan back and forth, creates a backlash of cooler air that is left in the wake of a swipe. People still use this method for cooling off today and modern fans, both stationary and oscillating, are a product of this very basic concept.
Finally, one of the more ingenious ways to cope with hot weather was developed by early architectural enthusiasts. Warm air rises because it is less dense than cool air, so builders would create very lofted spaces in homes where air was allowed to travel higher than just the normal ceiling height. These specially designed areas in homes allowed for cooler spaces to be created, where people would take shelter from the heat simply by standing in them. The idea of lofted ceilings is still in practice today and in many warmer climates, cathedral ceilings and other higher models are still used to alleviate some of the heating effects that can plague homeowners who lack air conditioning services in Saskatoon.
It may seem absurd to face the warm, summer weather without a trusted air conditioning system by your side, but people have found different ways to cope all throughout history. Next time you’re sitting comfortably in your air conditioned home, just think about how convenient that cool air actually is!