Because I grew up in the southernmost reaches of a southern state, I know a few secrets about cooling that not everyone knows.
Back in the day, houses were constructed of CBS block, otherwise known as cinder block. These huge and heavy blocks of concrete help keep the cooling inside where it belongs. Also, many people think awnings are on buildings just to look interesting or pretty. That is not the case. Awnings help provide shade; back in the day before a/c became commonplace, it was the awnings that might save you. Even after a/c was becoming popular and affordable, the awnings helped your cooling system work a little less hard by offering a bit of a buffer against the sun. A really long time ago, houses were built to encourage breezes. The breeze was the only air conditioning that was invented yet, so anything someone could do to get more breezes into the house was a good idea. Houses were built with windows directly in line with one another so the breeze would go in one window and out the other. Window air conditioners came along, and a lot of the older folks hated the window a/c units because they figured if the a/c broke, it would be in the way of getting a cross-breeze. Some older homes also have what is called a sleeping porch. Sleeping porches were used before the invention of air conditioning because it would get so hot in the house that no one could get to sleep. Sleeping porches provided the natural a/c known as wind.