5 Hacks for Staying Cool When Your AC is Broken

by | May 15, 2024 | HVAC | 0 comments

A busted air conditioner can turn your home into an uncomfortable sauna, especially in the middle of a heatwave. While professional repairs are the ultimate fix, there are plenty of ways to find relief in the meantime. In this blog, we’ll explore some easy hacks on how to stay cool when your AC is broken and restore some much-needed comfort..

Hack #1: Master Your Windows and Shades

If you’re searching online for “AC broken how to cool down house,” you’ll quickly find that managing sunlight is key. The sun becomes your greatest heat source when your AC isn’t working. Direct sunlight blasting through windows will rapidly heat up the interior. Fortunately, there are easy ways to use your windows and shades to your advantage.

Block the Sun

Closing your blinds, curtains, or shades is the simplest way to block the sun’s heat. If you lack traditional window coverings, get creative! Use cardboard, reflective materials (like car windshield covers), or even temporarily repurpose blankets to block the sun’s entry.

Embrace the Night Air

Even during a heatwave, temperatures naturally dip during nighttime hours. Capitalize on this! Once the sun sets, open your windows throughout the night and into the early morning. This allows cooler air in, helping your home release some of the built-up heat.

Hack #2: Embrace the Power of Fans

Fans might not seem like a high-tech solution when your AC is broken, but don’t underestimate their power. The key is in air quality and circulation. While fans don’t actually lower the temperature, moving air helps your body’s natural cooling system work better by evaporating sweat. Here’s how to get the most out of your fans:

Strategic Placement

Ceiling fans are great for overall circulation – make sure they’re rotating counterclockwise to push air down. Place box or standing fans in windows to draw cooler air in, or position them to expel hot air outward. Creating cross-breezes by using multiple fans further enhances air movement throughout your space.

The Ice Fan Trick

For an extra cooling blast, place a bowl or shallow pan full of ice in front of a fan. As the air passes over the ice, it simulates a refreshing, chilled breeze.

Hack #3: Harness the Power of Water

Water is a simple but fantastic tool for finding relief from the heat. If you’re wondering how to stay cool when your AC is broken, look no further than your shower, sink, and refrigerator!

Cool Showers or Baths

Taking a cool shower or bath is one of the most direct ways to lower your body temperature quickly. It’s both refreshing and effective for staying comfortable.

Damp Washcloths

For a quick fix, soak a washcloth in cool water and apply it to pulse points like your wrists, neck, or temples. The cool water against your skin can provide temporary relief.

Hydration is Vital

Drinking plenty of cold water sounds basic, but it’s vital! When it’s hot, you sweat more; proper hydration helps your body regulate its temperature naturally. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty – keep a water bottle handy and sip throughout the day.

Hack #4: Clothing and Activities Matter

When you’re desperately asking yourself “AC broken how to cool down the house?” it’s easy to forget the impact of your clothing and activity choices. Simple adjustments can make a surprising difference in your overall comfort level.

Choose Your Wardrobe Wisely

Lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics are your friends. Think cotton, linen, or moisture-wicking materials. Ditch anything restrictive or made of heavy fabrics that trap heat.

Mind the Kitchen

Your oven and stove top generate a lot of heat, which can quickly raise the temperature of your entire home. When your air conditioner is down, consider no-cook meals like salads and sandwiches or grilling outdoors to keep the extra heat out of your kitchen.

Take it Easy

Save strenuous activities or chores for the cooler parts of the day, like early morning or after the sun goes down. Resting or engaging in low-key activities during the hottest hours helps your body avoid overheating.

Hack #5: Take Advantage of Cooler Spaces

Sometimes, the best way to beat the heat is to find a cooler environment, even temporarily. Here are a few ideas on where you can find respite when your AC is down:

Basement Retreat

If your home has a basement, take advantage of it! Basements are naturally cooler as they are below ground level. Consider setting up a temporary relaxation space down there while you wait for your AC repairs.

The Great Outdoors (with precautions)

If it’s cooler outside than in your house, find a shady spot under a tree in a park or your backyard. Just remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and avoid prolonged sun exposure during the hottest part of the day.

Public Places

Libraries, shopping malls, movie theaters, or even a friend’s air-conditioned house can all provide a much-needed blast of cool air. Don’t be afraid to seek out these cooler spaces as a way to give yourself a break from the heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I keep my room cool without AC?

Focus on blocking sunlight with blinds or curtains, strategically using fans (including the ice fan trick), and staying hydrated. Cool showers or damp washcloths applied to your wrists and neck also help.

How can I cool my house naturally?

Manage your windows wisely—close them with shades or blinds during the day and open them at night to let cooler air in. Fans are essential for air circulation. Avoid using your oven or stove, prioritize loose, breathable clothing, and seek out cooler areas of your home or shaded outdoor spots if possible.

How to remove hot air from a room?

Use fans to create airflow. Position a box fan in the window facing outward to expel hot air. Ceiling fans rotating counterclockwise help expel rising hot air. Open windows on opposite sides of the room to create cross-ventilation.

How long does it take for a house to cool down after a broken AC?

This depends on several factors – how hot it is outside, the size of your house, and how well-insulated it is. With the strategies discussed in this blog, you can make it more comfortable, but the house won’t reach ideal temperatures until the AC is repaired.

How do I know if my house AC is broken?

Common signs include no cool air blowing, strange noises or smells, higher energy bills, and a thermostat that doesn’t work correctly. If you notice any of these, it’s best to call an HVAC professional.

Key Takeaways: How to Stay Cool When AC is Broken

While a broken AC is certainly an inconvenience, the hacks we’ve discussed can make a world of difference while you wait for repairs. Remember, blocking the sun, harnessing the power of fans and water, choosing the right clothes, and taking advantage of cooler spaces are your allies. If you find yourself searching “AC broken how to cool down house naturally,” refer back to these tips for relief.
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