Air conditioning is the type of convenience that’s easy to forget exists — that is, until it breaks. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation that involved the sudden loss of home cooling, you know that although your air conditioning won’t kick in, a feeling of desperation certainly will.
Even in the Upper Midwest, a region more known for its frigid winters than scorching temperatures, home cooling malfunctions can lead to dangerous situations. You never know when a heat wave will roll through with devastating consequences. The summer of 2001 was a particularly deadly season in Minnesota, with 19 heat-related deaths in the span of a few months.
Prepare for the next heat wave by making a plan to stay cool, even if the AC fails.
Keep Air Moving
Commonly viewed as “the next best thing,” fans are an effective way to beat the heat if your air conditioning fails. With a history dating back to 500 BCE, humans have taken advantage of this technology for millennia.
Fans create a wind chill effect that makes the air feel about 4 degrees cooler than it actually is. That might not sound like much, but when the outdoor temperature is 90 degrees, every bit of cooling counts. If you’re using ceiling fans, make sure they are spinning counter clockwise to blow air down towards the room.
Get Water Flowing
Moving air around the house with fans only goes so far. Enter your next line of cooling defense — good old H20. Water is essential for life, and when temperatures skyrocket, it’s important to stay hydrated. Keep drinking glasses of water throughout the day, as you are likely to sweat out a good portion of it.
Water can also be helpful when you don’t ingest it because it only takes a cool, damp towel on the back of the neck to make the body feel more comfortable in a hot environment.
Limit Heat Sources
Throughout the day, the sun will change its position in the sky, and that means you have an ever-changing heat source to contend with. The south and west sides of the home are most vulnerable to baking in sunlight, as are their windows. Stop sunlight in its tracks by closing your blinds, shades or curtains as soon as you realize there’s a problem with the air conditioning.
Other sources of heat could actually be inside the home. Ovens, dryers and other appliances generate warmth when they’re in use, so no matter how many cookies you planned to bake or loads of laundry you were hoping to do, it’s best to hold off until cooler temperatures return. The same goes for lighting — limit heat-producing light bulb use as much as possible to keep temperatures low.
Hit the Floor
If your home has a basement, you’re in luck. Due to the fact that hot air rises, the basement will be the coolest room in the home in the event of an AC breakdown. Have a family sleepover in the basement when it’s too hot to sleep on any other floor. Not only will you stay cool, you’ll have an unplanned bonding experience to talk about for summers to come.
If you live in a home without a basement, you can still use the same strategy. Take mattresses off of lofts and box springs and put them on the floor to take advantage of the cooler air closer to the ground or bunk down with sleeping bags. Sure, it might not be the most desirable place to spend the night, but it will be much more comfortable than even a few feet higher off the ground.
It’s sure to feel frustrating when the air conditioning breaks, but our team can get it back up and running in no time. Check out our service plans to learn more about how we can help repair your system during a breakdown.
We provide 24-hour air conditioning repair services for our customers, so you’re always covered. Avoid resorting to desperate measures to stay cool, and contact our team today!