Saving money during the blistering hot summer without suffering repercussions from the heat is ideal for the majority of Arizonians.
If you had to live a week without air conditioning this summer, do you think you would survive? If you’ve set up your home to take advantage of natural breezes and to block the hot sun, you’d have a pretty good chance. After all, generations of Arizonians managed to get through summer after sweltering Arizona summer without mechanical intervention before air conditioning as we know it hit the market in the early 1900s and came into common use in the ’50s. We can learn a lot about smart housing from history. In fact, our forebears can teach us a few things about saving energy and spending a whole lot less to stay comfortable at home.
Some of Arizona’s earliest Indian cultures built their homes from the earth on top of deep pits or into the sides of caves. They relied on the ground’s natural coolness to keep the indoors temperate. That concept translates into the modern basement—which few homes in Arizona have. But a basement can prove valuable to an Arizona homeowner. Because it’s encased in earth, a basement stays super-cool during the summer, making it a great bonus room for your family. From those early Indians to the 18th- and 19th-century Spanish and Mexican settlers, resourceful early Arizonians faced their homes to the south so in the summer, when the sun is high, their buildings were shaded.
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