The ancient Persians already had air conditioning

In times of increasingly extreme heat and cold, they are looking for solutions that do not harm the planet. How did they do in ancient times to cool the houses? The ancient Persians cooled their houses with an inexpensive and environmentally friendly method. The ancient Persian city of Yazd, which was located in the Iranian desert, is an example of this.

ancient persians
Cooling tower on the left of the image. Image taken from Wikipedia
In the city Yazd the ancient Persians refrigerated their dwellings

This city is located in the desert of Iran, where temperatures are often extreme. At the same time, the city of Yazd was once the cradle of ingenious engineering works. Among these works is an underground cooling system called Yakhchal. An irrigation structure, also underground called Qanat. In addition to a courier network (pyrradazis) that was 2000 years ahead of known postal services.

Though the most interesting of these works are the bagdi or wind catchers. They are like air conditioning systems, although they do not consume electricity or any other type of energy. They are ecological and can be a solution in the present.

What are Bagdi or wind catchers?

Bagdi or wind catchers are structures that go located on the roofs or roofs of the city. They are usually rectangular structures. Although they could also be of other shapes, round, square or octagonal. They were adjusted according to the needs. It is believed that the Persian city of Yazd is the place with the most wind traps in the world. However, experts say that ancient Egypt was the origin of this technology.

city of the ancient persians
Cooling tower in the foreground. Image taken from Wikipedia

For the location of Yazd in the middle of the desert, it is more than indispensable. It is the way to make a place of extreme heat habitable. For these reasons, engineers, architects and designers from all over the world have set their eyes on this technology. The world needs new systems to cool homes and buildings using renewable energy.

How does it work?

Wind traps do not use electricity, although current ventilation systems do. In fact, they consume about one-fifth of the world’s total energy consumption.

The operation of these wind-catching towers is very simple and ingenious. The wind enters the structure and is directed to the interior of the house. There, an exchange takes place due to the buoyancy of the air depending on the temperature. The warmer air stays on top and the colder air goes underneath.

The wind-driven air enters the dwelling through the openings of the Bagdi. At the bases of the tower, rubble or sand is deposited to force the air in. In some cases, water tanks were placed to further cool the incoming air. The exchange causes the hot air to rise and exit through the tower itself and the cold air is retained underneath.

However, they fell into disuse for some causes, such as pests entering the home or because they collected dust. Although with today’s materials, they will surely soon become an interesting option. They were already used in England and the United States in the 20th century with relative success.

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