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Unread 05-24-2008, 05:17 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
17,041 posts, read 14,144,468 times
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Who remembers "Swamp Coolers" ??

Very effective at night and you still see these in desert areas out west.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Trans-Pecos Texas
7,856 posts, read 10,591,078 times
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My parents built the house that they still live in to this day (last year was their 60th Wedding Anniversary) in 1951, the year I was born.

The house was designed with ductwork that could take either swamp cooling or compressor/refrigerated air. I grew up with swamp cooling (had a HUGE window unit in our kiddie bedroom)....and refrigerated air was added with remodeling around 1960 or so.

West Texas was not nearly as humid as it is now (still dry compared to some areas, but more humid than it was 50+ years ago), and swamp cooling worked well back then.

So, no, I've never known what it's like to not have any cooling at all....and as hot as TX is, I don't think I'd ever want to find out. I cannot imagine how really miserable it must have been before even swamp cooling.

Ugh. Are we spoiled, or what, LOL?!?!

The only part of TX where you see swamp cooling now on a large scale is El Paso. Here in Alamogordo, NM, swamp cooling is very common, but is gradually being replaced by refrigerated air.

With high fuel costs, that may start going back the other direction!
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Unread 05-24-2008, 06:42 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
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No AC was the reason old homes had big porches. My mother had many tales about sleeping outside on the porch in the hot TX summers. It was much cooler than being inside.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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I did, but it was in California. I wouldn't have survived in Texas w/o A/C; I'd have to hurt myself.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 07:51 PM
 
5,033 posts, read 7,228,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Who remembers "Swamp Coolers" ??

Very effective at night and you still see these in desert areas out west.
A few of my friends in CA had them when I was growing up. I didn't like them as it felt too humid for me. I like dry.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 08:07 PM
 
13,935 posts, read 24,316,080 times
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sleeping porches/screened porches
having shade trees
having doorways and windows designed to aid in natural air flow--something that modern homes are totally oblivious to since they do not consider windows can be opened for ventillation...

when I first started teaching in Houston in 1970--my school --Phyllis Wheatley HS --was then on Market street in the 5th ward--on the east side of Houston north of the ship channel--downwind of the Bama Jelly factory--
NO A/C in Houston at that time--the ink or pencil that my students wrote in would become so hot/damp from the hot, humid temp that it would consistently smear and they would have ink on their hands from just touching the paper

if your room faced away from the breeze it was almost a death sentence--the walls were thick but there was NO air flow--we swealtered---I would drive home in a car w/o a/c as well--by the time I was at my apt, I was swimming in sweat---
ugh--just thinking about it makes me want to take a shower...

when the wind was right we could always smell the flavor of jelly that they were making at the Bama factory --I can't stomach grape jelly to this day...
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Unread 05-24-2008, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Texas South High Plains
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
Who remembers "Swamp Coolers" ??
Lol! I not only remember them, I'm sitting in front of one as I write this reply. However, the Texas Panhandle evenings are generally cool so the coolers have to be turned off at night.

I have three small window swamp coolers in this west Texas house but in my home in Albuquerque, I have two large ones that blow into the upstairs and downstairs duct work. Their very effective in most years.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Texas South High Plains
6,705 posts, read 5,836,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakin View Post
No AC was the reason old homes had big porches. My mother had many tales about sleeping outside on the porch in the hot TX summers. It was much cooler than being inside.
Do you recall pictures of early (turn of the century) east Texas pioneer homes where the living area was separated from the hot kitchen by an open porch, a "dog run", that ran though the middle of the house?

This reminds me of a story of how the cornmeal delicasy called "hush puppy" came to be. In the larger and wealthier homes of the old South, many times the kitchen was a completely separate building in order to keep the heat away from the living quarters. Additionally these old southern homes traditionally had hunting dogs found lounging about the yard. Whenever the servants would bring the cooked food to the main house on platters, the dogs get all around the servants' feet hoping to get some scraps of food. Seeking to find a way to divert the dogs attention and remove them from underfoot, an ingenious servant is said to have fried up some cornmeal balls before they made the trip with the food. As the dogs approached, the servant tossed the fried cornmeal some distance out and would say, "now hush puppy." Now I don't know if this is true or not but I heard the story from one of those wonderful elderly ladies of the South at the Jefferson Davis home at Biloxi, Mississippi many years ago. I guess I believe it.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 09:42 PM
 
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
17,041 posts, read 14,144,468 times
Reputation: 15269
Before the 80's we put white shingles on roofs to reflect the heat. When wood shingles were banned in most cities, we went to dark shingles that imitated wood shingles and today almost all home are built with dark shingles.

Dark shingles absorb heat and white reflects. Maybe someday we'll wise up and go back to the old reflective shingles and lower our cooling costs.
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Unread 05-24-2008, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Slaughter Creek, Travis County
1,163 posts, read 2,254,359 times
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I grew up in a house with an attic fan and large, open porches on all sides. I believe we became spoiled when my dad figured out the cost of window units. Within 2 years, we had them in all of the bedrooms - that was a mistake in that I now place a greater reliance on the AC.

I may have to change my ways given energy costs. But for now, the AC is on. I still find taking a shower before bed makes for such a nice night of sleep.
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