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How To Stay Cool When Your AC Breaks

Blue thermometer showing 100 degree temperatures

When your air conditioner breaks down in summer, even waiting an hour or two for an AC repair technician is miserable. Beyond just discomfort, if you have infants, small children, or elderly or chronically ill family members, heat can be a health hazard, as these individuals may not be able to regulate their body temperatures.

Overheating could have serious consequences. Excessive heat is also a significant problem for some pets, like dogs, who are more sensitive to heat than their humans.

So how do you keep comfortable and protect your household while living with an AC breakdown? First, call an HVAC contractor immediately, and let them know if your AC repair is an emergency. Second, read on for some old-school advice on how to keep cool.

Tips To Stay Cool While You Wait for Help

Avoid Heat-Generating Appliances Like the Stove or Oven

You have to eat, sure, but using a stove or oven adds a lot of unwanted heat to your home. Now is a good time to grill outside or snack on chilled veggies or a salad. A broken AC is also a great excuse to eat out.

Using other heat-generating appliances like the dryer or dishwasher should also be avoided, and even computers and video games add an extra degree or two to a room.

Use Your Fans

If you have ceiling fans, make sure they’re spinning counterclockwise, so they’ll draw hot air up and circulate the cool air below. Air circulation reduces overall temperature while evaporating sweat, making you feel cooler even when the temperature remains the same.

Portable and handheld fans are inexpensive and can help you feel several degrees cooler thanks to the wind-chill effect. Maximize the impact of table fans by having them blow over a big bowl of ice — you’ll be amazed at how cool the breeze feels.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re hot, it’s essential to stay hydrated for several reasons.

  • You’re losing more water than usual, even if you don’t seem to be sweating.
  • A well-hydrated body can better regulate body temperature.
  • Dehydration is dangerous, especially for older people who may require hospitalization or IV therapy to recover.
  • Drinking a cold beverage will cool you off from the inside out.

Cool Down With Wet Towels

Wet down a few towels. Hang one around your neck and put the others into the freezer. The large vein at the back of your neck will instantly react to the cold sensation, telling your brain that the overall temperature is cooler than it actually is. When one towel warms up, exchange it for a cold one from the freezer.

Close Your Blinds & Lower Your Shades

We all love natural light, but sunshine through glass windows creates a greenhouse effect that can make it hotter inside than outside, particularly in rooms with lots of windows and direct sun.

Make sure to close blinds, lower shades, and draw blackout curtains if you have them — keeping out the sun’s thermal heat will go a long way toward reducing your home’s overall heat load.

For same-day service and emergency AC repairs, call Service Professionals at 908-272-9090 or contact us online

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