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How to Keep Cool When Your Air Conditioning Goes Out

keeping cool when AC is broken

Our air conditioners are a lifeline when we reach the hottest days of the year. It can be a brutal blow when they decide to break down on us when we need them most. Sure, you can schedule out a repair but who knows how long that will take. While certain issues are a quick fix, others might be a more involved process to repair. So how do you keep cool in the meantime when your air conditioning goes out?

Cooling down without an AC can be difficult but it’s not impossible. You most likely have all the tools you need to beat the heat in your home already. Follow this step-by-step guide when your air conditioner fails to keep cool.  

1. Get in Touch With an HVAC Pro 

The first thing you need to do when faced with air conditioning problems is to call your local HVAC professional. During this busy time of year, there’s sure to be a line of customers just like you looking for AC repair. Get an appointment booked as soon as possible so you won’t have to wait too long for your cooling system to be up and running again. 

If you’re in the Central Pennsylvania area, reach out to WM Buffington when your AC breaks down on you! We offer 24-hour repairs and top-tier services. 

2. Use Your Fans 

Fans are your greatest asset when you can’t use your AC. The windchill effect they provide can make you feel around 4 degrees cooler. Keep in mind that they don’t actually affect the temperature, they only cool people. Be sure to turn off fans when people aren’t in the room to conserve energy.

Also, note that you need to adjust your ceiling fan to spin counter-clockwise for it to cool you down properly. This will pull cool air from the floor and distribute it throughout the room. If you have a standing fan, place it in a window at night to usher in the chilled night air. You can also place a bowl or bottle of ice in front of the fan to cool down the air. 

3. Get Rid of Excess Humidity 

Humidity can make it feel like the temperature is hotter than it really is. Ideally, your home should be in the 30-50% range for humidity. Anything beyond that will create an uncomfortable environment and can even reduce the energy efficiency of your cooling system. It’s important to take steps to lower the humidity level in your home both when your AC is working and while you’re waiting for it to be repaired. 

There are several methods to reduce humidity levels in your home. One important habit to form is using the exhaust fan while cooking and showering. This will help shuttle moist, hot air outside of your home. You can also choose to take cooler showers. If you have house plants, either move them outside or consolidate them into a room where people don’t usually congregate. Invest in a dehumidifier if you can afford it. You can also use bowls full of charcoal briquettes to absorb excess moisture.  

4. Open the Windows 

Cracking a window at night can reduce the temperature in your home. This will allow the heat of the day to escape while fresh, cool night air comes in. If you do choose to open the windows at night, keep in mind that you should close them before temperatures start to climb during the day. Closing the windows will help to capture the cool air you let in during the night. If you keep them open, all that air will escape while hot air forces its way in. 

5. Draw the Curtains 

Draw the curtains and shut the blinds during the day. This is especially important for homes with south or west-facing windows. Keeping your curtains open creates a greenhouse effect and heats up your home more and more throughout the day. 

Any opaque curtains will be beneficial. But the best curtains for the job are thick with bright, reflective backing. These specialized curtains will keep out even more light and warmth during the heat of summer. 

6. Reduce Internal Sources of Heat

Save your chores for the nighttime. The machines we use to clean up produce a lot of heat during the day. Don’t use your laundry machine, dryer, or dishwasher. Cooking on the stove or in the oven can also create a lot of excessive heat in an already hot home. Believe it or not, even your laptop and television can increase the temperature in your home. Save any and all activities that depend on heat-generating objects until the sun starts to set. 

7. Use Bedding With Light Fabrics 

If you’re someone that sleeps with blankets regardless of how swelteringly hot it is, switch your comforter out for light, breathable fabrics. Thick bedding is obviously not your friend when trying to beat the heat. 

When shopping for summer bedding, look for thinner sheets, blankets, and pillow covers. Cotton and bamboo fabrics usually lend themselves well to keeping cool at night. You can also find bedding and pillows that are designed to stay cool. For an even more comfortable night’s sleep, wear breathable pajamas at night too. 

8. Take Steps To Cool Down Your Body

Finally, keep your body cool throughout the day. First and foremost, stay hydrated! As you might already know, your body will try to cool you down by sweating when the temperatures start to climb. This will leave you dehydrated and even more uncomfortable. While you’re at home, try not to engage in any activities that will raise your body temperature. Save your home workouts for the evening or opt to go to the gym. You can also keep cool by choosing breathable, light clothing. 

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