3 Coolest Ancient Air-Conditioning Devices

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Unlimited Wind Tower Image: mishox

Modern air-conditioning has become an essential commodity in many parts of the world, and guzzles more than its fair share of energy as it shifts heat around buildings. But while scientists sweat to find solar solutions to cool this burning energy issue, over a thousand years ago ancient cultures had discovered sustainable precursors to air-conditioning, albeit by and large just for the privileged few. Here are three of the coolest indoor-cooling innovations from those environmentally-savvy ancients – and not a chemical in sight.

Aqueduct image: Chris O

3. Freshly Circulated Roman Aqueduct Water

Sections of ancient Roman aqueducts supported by towering arches are a sight to see across European landscapes. In their heyday hundreds of miles of these waterways supplied fresh aqua pura, sufficient for entire cities and millions of residents. Even more innovatively, the water channelled in was piped through the walls of select houses in order to cool the brickwork and lower the room temperature.

It seems only affluent citizens could afford the luxury of installing these smart water-circulation systems – and they must have been even more expensive if the water bill was worked out on a meter! Excess water usage aside, though, this pioneering air-conditioning concept is further proof that when the Romans weren’t busy conquering territories to expand their empire, they were developing damn cool feats of engineering way ahead of their time.