With the hot West Virginia summer at its peak, a broken air conditioner means coming home to a muggy, sweaty and overheated house.
When your air conditioner breaks in summer, you want to stay out of the heat and get the cool air running again. To help you do that, here are some tips for staying cool when your AC system is broken.
What Do I Do if My AC Breaks?
If your AC system breaks during summer, your first step should be to evaluate the issue. Some AC problems are more severe than others and understanding how to fix a broken AC unit will help you prepare for any future issues.
Find the Cause
When the AC suddenly goes down, you can try to find the source of the problem. Even the best units can fail unexpectedly, so if your AC isn’t working, check these areas first:
- Thermostat: Thermostats are the first area you should check if your AC isn’t keeping you cool. Ensure the thermostat is on, and try adjusting the temperature to see if that fixes the problem. If not, check for loose or frayed wires, dead batteries or dust blocking the connections.
- Breaker box: AC can trip the breaker, causing the system to shut down. While breakers may trip due to electrical problems, they can also trip when the AC system overheats or uses too much power at once. Check your breaker box to see if a breaker tripped — if so, switch it back on and try the AC again.
- Airflow: If you can hear your AC working but aren’t feeling any air coming through the house, you could have an airflow problem. First, check for anything blocking the grilles and vents and remove any obstructions. If you still aren’t feeling airflow, check the air filters. Dirty or old filters can lead to overheating and poor airflow.
When it comes to replacing a filter, flipping the breaker switch or replacing the thermostat batteries, you can handle the repairs yourself. However, If none of these steps restore your air conditioning, it’s time to contact a professional for help.
Contact a Professional
Call an HVAC specialist to inspect the unit if you couldn’t find the cause or don’t know how to solve the issue. Professionals are the best choice for safely and effectively repairing a broken air conditioner.
While some people decide to replace the refrigerant or attempt more complicated repairs, doing so can lead to more extensive damage to the unit. Always call a professional technician to repair the system and ensure everything is working correctly and safely.
How to Stay Cool With a Broken Air Conditioner
Your air conditioner can work overtime in the summer, especially when the humidity is high. Using different tricks to maximize your AC efficiency will help keep your unit running.
However, if your system is down, you need to figure out how to beat the heat now! Here are eight tips for staying cool while you wait for the HVAC technician.
1. Leave the House
The best way to stay cool when your home AC is broken is to go somewhere else! Take a day to visit the pool, go shopping, see a movie or hang out somewhere out of the heat. Enjoy time away with your family and do something fun in town. Take advantage of the free air conditioning in the library, mall or community center to avoid overheating.
Fans help enhance your body’s natural evaporative cooling process. Use any oscillating fans, desk fans and ceiling fans in your house to reduce the heat. Set ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise to disperse any cool air around the room. Point desk and oscillating fans in your direction — they work great for helping your body feel less hot in a stuffy room.
Set a bowl of ice in front of the fan for cooler air for an evening more refreshing breeze. The colder air will blow on you as the ice melts from the fan, giving you a cool flow of air on your face as you sit inside.
3. Cool Towels and Ice
Wrapping ice in a cloth or wetting a towel to lay on your neck will help cool you off. A cool bath or shower can also provide relief if you’re feeling up to it. Using cold compresses, frozen water bottles and even frozen bags of rice on your wrists, neck and elbows can work wonders against the heat.
While it may be tempting, don’t leave your refrigerator open to try and cool off. It won’t produce enough cold air to fill the house and will only raise your energy bill trying to maintain its temperature.
4. Cover the Windows
Make sure to close your windows and doors and cover the windows to keep the cool air inside. Any cracks or open windows can let cold air escape and bring hot air rushing inside.
While thick curtains work best for covering your windows, closing blinds, shutters or any window covering will still help keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If your windows are bare, you can use blankets, bedspreads and tablecloths as temporary coverings.
5. Open the Windows at Night
While opening windows during the day will let heat inside your house, cooler nights are an excellent way to bring the temperature in your home down. With the sun down and a soft breeze blowing, cooler outside air can flow through open windows at night to help with the heat.
You’ll be sweating more as the heat rises, so remember to stay hydrated. Use water to stay away from dehydration and keep your body feeling cool and energized. Taking in water helps prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion and refreshes you during hot periods.
You can enjoy ice-cold drinks or snacks like popsicles to keep your temperature down and your system hydrated. Be sure to add some salty snacks or sports drinks to replace the electrolytes you sweat out, too!
7. Light Clothing
Change into light-colored and lightweight summer clothing to help beat the heat. Dark colors, long sleeves and heavy fabrics will trap heat against your body and make you sweat and insulated clothing will make you feel even hotter.
Try light, breathable fabrics like cotton when dealing with AC issues.
8. Avoid Using Appliances and Electronics
Using ovens and stoves will only increase the heat inside your home. Choose foods like sandwiches and raw fruits and vegetables — anything that doesn’t require heat — for your meals.
Also, try not to use large electronics like computers and gaming consoles. Fans inside these devices blow hot air away from the units, distributing more hot air inside the house.
Call the Air Conditioning Experts at Drake’s Construction & Restoration for Help
If you’re experiencing air conditioning issues, the experts at Drake’s Construction & Restoration will provide you will professional HVAC system repairs. We’re dedicated to delivering high-quality repairs with unparalleled customer service.
Avoid AC outages with our preventative maintenance services. Having your air conditioner checked regularly can prevent many problems before they start. We offer air conditioning repair, preventative maintenance, installations and emergency services to customers in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to help you stay cool in the summer heat.
Contact us to learn more about our services or receive a free project estimate today!