The oldest air-conditioning system in Iran

The oldest air-conditioning system in Iran
ID : N-2611 Date : 2018/08/09 - 10:15

(Persia Digest) – The very first and earliest cooling system invented by Iranians was the “Khish-khaneh”.

The word “khish”, or “kish”, means a coarse linen cloth or curtain which was hung from the ceiling of homes, or in the summer quarters of a house, over a line. It was fanned to ventilate and cool the room. To cool off, the cloth was wetted with water; rosewater was also added at times.

“Khaneh” in Persian means house and, thus, the room or house holding the khish was called “khish-khaneh”. There were variant forms of this. For instance, “khār-khaneh” or “khashan-khaneh” was a hut or small cabin built next to the sitting room close to a stream with camel thorns,  reeds, or “pish” palm branches and leaves. The summers were spent in the khar-khaneh or khashan-khaneh, which was kept cool by spraying water on the walls.

The tent khish-khaneh was sewn with coarse calico and set up next to the house in the summers. It was covered with leafs and branches all around, or with wicker baskets woven out of willow branches. During the heat of the day, the branches and leaves were sprayed with water, or otherwise large pieces of ice were placed in the baskets. When the wind blew through the wet branches and ice-filled baskets, it cooled down the air inside the house.

Another type of kish-khaneh was installed on the walls of a cabin covered with felt. A pipe punched with holes was placed horizontally above the felt and filled with a water current at times of use. The water dripped over the felt which then cooled the air that circulated in the khish-khaneh, making it a pleasant den for spending the hot summer days.

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