Air conditioners fail and they usually fail at the most inopportune time–on a scorching summer afternoon. When your air conditioner abruptly or not so abruptly fails, having an alternative method of staying cool is not just a matter of comfort on the hottest days, but a matter of personal well being. In the time it takes to have your air conditioner repaired or replaced, you should have cooling alternatives such as fans, window units, or both on hand to get you through the heat. A downed air conditioner can be a serious inconvenience and a costly appliance to repair or replace. Inspecting and maintaining the working components of the air conditioner will help ensure that it stays reliable when you need it the most. If your air conditioner has failed, however, there are a few easy solutions to stay cool and comfortable.
Ceiling and Floor Fans
You should always have fans available to use in lieu of your air conditioner. Whether your a/c is working or not, having fans as an alternative cooling option is important. Running fans instead of the a/c can save energy and help circulate air throughout the house. While fans can help keep your home cool and comfortable during certain times of day, the summer heat has ways of turning your home into an oven, and you may require more extensive cooling options. The primary concern, of course, is getting your air conditioner repaired and working again as soon as possible. In the interim, however, you may be forced to take additional measures to ensure that your home remains cool during the hottest times of day.
Window A/C Units
Purchasing and installing a window a/c unit can be a good way to keep areas of your home cool when your central a/c unit breaks down. These units are cheaper and easy to install. Keeping a window unit on hand and installed in a central room of the house can be a good backup when other cooling options falter. Often fans don’t provide the degree of cooling you need on the hottest days and when your central a/c isn’t working, a window unit may be the most reliable alternative to stay cool. While you will consume more energy with these units, energy use may equalize in the long term as you may run the window a/c for a shorter time period than a fan–cooling your home more effectively.
Cool Showers and Shade
Sometimes no matter how you try, the temperature boils–inside the house and out– and the only reasonable recourse is to take a cold shower and find some shade. Keeping physically cool will help a lot when your a/c is down. Avoid exerting yourself outdoors during the hottest times of day, take frequent rests, stay well hydrated, seek shade for rests whenever possible, and cool down with regular cold showers. Doing everything you can to keep your body temperature down will help you stay comfortable until your air conditioner is up and running again.