There’s nothing more inconvenient than a broken air conditioner in the hottest part of summer. We inwardly groan, “Oh, no!” and wonder how on earth we’re going to keep cool. We’ve all had it happen, and it’s no fun. Most of the time repairs don’t take long, but the wait for the repairs, or even the wait for a repairman to arrive can feel like an eternity. Here are some tips to help you keep your cool when the air conditioner goes out in the summer.
First, dress appropriately. Wear lightweight clothing that is made from breathable fabric to help keep you cool. Babies or toddlers could go around in only a diaper, as that will help to keep them comfortable. For naps, put only a thin blanket over a baby if needed. You don’t want them to overheat. You could also place a cool, damp washcloth or towel around your neck. Consider applying peppermint oil to the towel, too, as it can have a cooling effect on the body.
If there is a breeze outdoors, open windows to allow the air to circulate. This will help to keep the house somewhat cool, or at least cooler that what it would be otherwise. You can also run ceiling fans or box fans to help keep air moving. Even a warm breeze is better than no breeze at all. It is recommended to turn fan blades in during the cooler hours, and out during the hottest part of the day. This will aid in keeping your house cooler by pulling in the cooler air and pulling out the hot air.
Along those same lines, do your household chores or any outdoor work during the coolest part of the day, either the early morning hours or late in the evening. You’ll have them all done before the temperatures start to climb and can rest during the hottest part of the day. Many gardening experts recommend watering your gardens during these times anyway. If you are not an early riser, you might have to make some accommodations if your air conditioner is out for more than a day or two.
Use light blocking or energy saving curtains on your windows. These insulated panels can help to keep your home cooler in summer. Especially consider putting them in the rooms that tend to get the hottest and draw in the most sunlight. Not only will it keep things cool, but it will also bring down your electric bill when used consistently.
Eat cool foods. If you air conditioner is broken, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and heat up the house even more. This is a great time to eat things straight from the fridge or things that require no prep at all – choose chilled fruit or cut up veggies, cold cut sandwiches, or ice pops Drink lots of ice water, too – that will help cool your body down faster than sugary drinks if you start to get hot. You could also cook outdoors on the grill or use a solar oven to prepare food.
Get wet! If you have tried all of the above tips and are still having trouble cooling off, go for a run through the sprinkler, take the kids to an area pool, or wade in the creek. All of these are great fun for the whole family, but also can help keep you cool if the temps are soaring and the AC is broken. Take cool showers rather than hot ones, too, when you bathe. There’s just something refreshing about a cool shower when you are really hot!
As you have read, living without air conditioning, even for a few hours or a couple of days, is definitely something you can handle. It’s a luxury we tend to take for granted until it’s not working and we don’t have it for a time. Bear in mind that many people around the world live without air conditioning, and our forefathers lived without it for generations. There are even some people who, for a variety of reasons, choose to live without air conditioning in their homes.
Have you found any other tried and true tips to keep cool when the AC is out?