I grew up in Michigan, and lived in homes that were gas heated with wood back-up and no air conditioning. We had cool basements to escape the daytime summer heat, or we went to the lake. Living in the Southeast for almost 40 years now I've found a whole different set of home design features that help keep things comfortable without air conditioning. Older homes had functional (opening) dormer or cupola windows to let the heat out. More modern designs utilize ridge vents, but this only vents hot air from the attic. You'll also see these older home with functional shutters, heavy draperies, large extended porches... and shade trees! Visiting these older Southern homes inspired me to redesign much of my homes exterior, and interior ventilation to take advantage of the natural daily heating and cooling cycles in this region. I can't match all of the older homes tricks, but I've added long shade porches, lots of shade trees with grape vine coverage helping to really block out the summer sun. Evenings on the porches to keep cool, going to bed when it gets dark, and rising with the sun feel more natural without power. Closing up all the open windows in the morning to hold the cool air in the house as the day warms outside was all part of the normal cycle of life here before air conditioning. Big stout porches have many advantages, and some of the ones I enjoy most are the ability to hang things everywhere (lanterns, plants, water jugs, etc.) and being able to climb up on top of the porch roof and use it as a sun deck/solar dryer. Clothes lines can be strung on the poles, and as a last resort, it can be wrapped with razor wire or enclosed for additional bunk space. What other changes/adaptations have you done in your area to prepare your home to be comfortable without power?