The wind catcher’s origin is a subject of dispute between Iran and Egypt (Credit: Credit: Shervin Abdolhamidi) “I have water air conditioning too, but I prefer sitting under my natural air conditioning. Reminds me of old times,” Mr Saberi said, gesturing to the badgir (wind catcher) that we were sitting under. “More chai?” In the 40C summer heat of Yazd, a desert city in the heart of Iran, a hot cup of chai would normally have been the last thing on my mind. However, a glance out from the breezy shaded patio where I sat onto the central courtyard, ablaze in the glaring evening sun, and all thoughts of bidding my host goodbye immediately evaporated. I leaned back and gazed up along the length of this remarkable technology that’s believed to be thousands of years old. Wind catchers are tall, chimney-like structures that protrude from the rooftops of older houses in many of Iran’s desert cities. In their simplest form, wind catchers harness the cool breezes and redirect them downwards either into the home or into underground storage rooms to refrigerate perishable foods. Studies have shown that wind catchers can reduce indoor temperatures by around 10 degrees. For centuries, […]

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