June 10, 2020

When your AC stops working, the first thing you should do is call a trusted HVAC company like Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We’re known for efficiently serving residents of Sacramento and its surrounding communities. However, even the best companies may have a few customers scheduled before you. This means you may have to keep your air conditioning turned off for a while. How can you keep cool while you wait? Here are some tips that will help you stay comfortable without your AC.

1. Open Your Windows When Temperatures Are Cool

You can lower temperatures by letting a refreshing breeze in. However, opening windows will not always cool down the house. In some cases, you might actually be heating up your interior. Therefore, you need to carefully consider the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. If outdoor temperatures are cool, go ahead and open windows. It can be particularly useful if you open windows on opposite sides of the house. Doing this lets a cross breeze of cool airflow through your home. Especially at night, this can be a great way to move hot air out of the house. You may also want to open windows when it is windy. The constantly moving air can help remove extra warmth from inside your home.

2. Cover Your Windows When the Sun Shines In

Avoid opening windows if the sun is shining directly on your home. Even if the outside temperature is low, direct UV rays really heat up a house. You can lower indoor temperatures by a few degrees just by shutting your blinds or curtains. If you have blackout curtains that directly block all the sun’s rays, it can be even more effective. When your window coverings are not doing enough to keep out the heat, consider something reflective. Thermal emergency blankets or car heat shields can help push some of the heat away from your home. They might look a bit odd, but when you are super-hot, it is worth a try! If you have shrubs or trees around windows, skip trimming them until your AC is fixed. The foliage can help give you some much-needed shade.

3. Stay Hydrated With Cool Beverages

A common myth is that sipping a hot drink will help you stay cool. It is true that this will cause you to sweat and temporarily feel cooler. However, in the long run, it actually dehydrates you and raises your body temperature. A better option is frequently sipping a cold beverage. You will stay hydrated and be less likely to feel sick and tired. The cold drink will also lower your overall temperature. Use drinks that have been cooled in the refrigerator or add some ice to your drink. Just keep in mind that overly sugary drinks can make you feel more heat sick. When your metabolism revs up on a sugar high, you actually get hotter. Stick to lighter options like water and herbal tea if possible. If you have a blender and ice, you can even mix up frozen drinks like smoothies. These super-chilled beverages are sure to keep you cool.

4. Switch to Breathable Clothes

Dressing for the heat can make a huge difference to your overall comfort levels. Whenever you can, wear as little as possible. Opt for loose, breezy options instead of tight clothes that trap body heat. Looser cuts let you circulate more air around yourself. Thick, heavy fabrics can also trap in body heat and sweat, so think carefully about what your clothes are made from. Often, the types of clothes you would wear for a workout can be very comfortable. Select lightweight options made from cooling fabrics. Some fibers known for being breathable and wicking away moisture include:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Rayon
  • Nylon
  • Silk

5. Skip Cooking Indoors

Did you know that before AC, kitchens were often situated outside because they generate so much heat? Baking some chicken for dinner or frying up some potatoes can leave your house feeling extra hot for hours. Therefore, you should rethink your cooking habits until you can get AC repairs. You do not necessarily need to switch to nothing but take out. However, it is a good idea to aim for low or no-cook food options like salads and sandwiches. Just like drinks, cold food will help you cool down more than a hot meal. Using a grill outside can be a great way to move your cooking heat away from the home. You can also cut back on heat by using a slow cooker since these are often insulated to avoid leaking heat. If you do need to cook inside, try to do it at night when you can quickly add more cool air to the house.

6. Cool Down With Water

Water is one of the most effective ways of cooling off for several reasons. Your tap water will almost always be cold compared to your home’s temperature. It is a strong conductor of heat, so getting wet quickly removes heat from your body. When water gets on the skin and evaporates, it further reduces body temperature. There are all sorts of ways to use water to cool off. Here are some of the ways you can use moisture to keep cool:

  • Take a cold shower or bath
  • Use a spray bottle to mist yourself with water
  • Put a cold washcloth on your wrists or neck
  • Go for a swim
  • Dunk your head in the sink
  • Sprint through a sprinkler
  • Run a cool-mist humidifier

7. Add a Breeze With Fans

Any sort of movement in the air helps you feel cool. It pushes away body heat and adds cooler air to the space around you. Therefore, fans are a very effective way of staying cool. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in a counterclockwise direction. This will push cool air down toward the floor. If you do not have ceiling fans, investing in a box fan can help get you through the hours until your repair. You can further improve air temperature by positioning fans to blow hot air out of your windows or pull cool air in. Combining moving air with moisture, like misting yourself and sitting in a fan, is especially useful. Keep in mind that running the fan on your HVAC system might be a bad idea. It can help to cool down the house, but depending on the problem with your machine, it can cause further damage.

At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ll make sure you are only using these tips for a short amount of time. We work hard to ensure that Sacramento residents get prompt AC repairs. Some of our other services include HVAC and water heater installations and maintenance as well as indoor air quality assessments and solutions. You can always count on us for reliable and friendly service. Find out more about our many other climate comfort services by giving us a call.

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