If your central air-conditioning system goes out at an inopportune time this summer, you’ll discover how difficult withstanding the brutal heat indoors can be. Until Cooper Climate Control’s air-conditioning repair services restore your indoor comfort, try these tips to stay cool. Some require advance planning, so start preparing your home now before temperatures become unbearable.
Coating windows facing the sun with heat-reflecting film will help cool your house while reducing ultraviolet rays and glare. Sun-control styles minimize the exterior light heating up your interior. Apply caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows to reduce air leaks.
Close and Cover Windows
During sunlight hours when outdoor temperatures are soaring, close your windows, blinds, and draperies. Blackout shades or curtains will stop excess sunlight from overheating your home. Choose light-colored options because darker ones may become so hot that they radiate indoors. If the temperature cools after sunset, then you can open them. Outdoor barriers like overhangs, awnings, latticework, and patio overheads can reduce sunlight that tends to stream in through windows.
A few tricks will make indoor fans more efficient when your AC is out. Put box and oscillating fans near external doors facing outer walls. For instance, place a fan within your bedroom doorway pointing inward. Don’t situate a fan in your bedroom by an external wall because it will blow radiant heat inside, making your room hotter.
Try setting fans behind ice water pans so they produce super-cool air. At night, put box fans in open windows to draw warm air out of rooms and cool air in from other opened windows. Be sure ceiling fans blow air downward (counter-clockwise usually) to create breezy wind-chill effects.
Build Swamp Coolers
Evaporative or swamp coolers work best in dry, hot weather, so they’re great for AC outages. These homemade devices pull heat from indoor air to cool it as water evaporates. Follow these steps to create your own bucket units and lower your room temperatures.
Dry heat drains your body far less than the humid kind. To cool the air and preserve your resources, decrease your indoor humidity. Schedule water-based activities like showers, laundry, and washing dishes during early-morning and late-evening hours. If you run any dehumidifiers, place them on the opposite sides of rooms from swamp coolers.
Turn off Lights and Appliances
Luckily, most interior lights aren’t essential during the daytime. Turn on lights, particularly heat-generating incandescent bulbs, only when they’re vital. Use dimmer switches on low whenever possible. Changing to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs that consume less energy and produce less heat will make your home cooler naturally.
Don’t stand in front of open refrigerator and freezer doors for long periods to cool your body. You’ll only spoil your food as you raise your energy bills. Keep any unnecessary heat-generating appliances off.
Wear minimal lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting garments to promote air circulation and avoid damp, clinging, heavy clothes. Choose naturally wicking fabrics like cotton that pull sweat away from your skin.
Apply Cool Cloths
Wrap a moist hand towel or cloth around your neck. Dab ice bags or packs on throat and your upper chest. Place cold compresses lightly over your femoral and carotid arteries to cool your blood and thus your body.
Eat Cold Foods
Frozen foods such as popsicles help control body temperature. Chilled options include raw fruits, vegetables, and salads. Choose anything that doesn’t involve using your oven or stove to avoid raising the indoor temperature. If cooking is necessary, use your ventilator fan to extract moist, warm air. Make sure that you turn it off afterward so it doesn’t remove cooled air as well. Better yet, use a portable solar oven or outdoor barbecue grill. Learn how to create your own DIY solar oven with a cardboard box and aluminum foil.
Skip Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics that promote urination, so consuming excess amounts can lead to dehydration. To promote staying cool and hydration, drink around eight glasses of water daily.
When you must do outdoor chores, schedule them during the coolest early-morning hours or put them off until after sundown.
If you have a backyard pool, take a refreshing dip. Otherwise, soaking in a shaded kiddie pool can bring relief on hot afternoons. Or draw a cool bath to relax in comfort indoors.