With summer just around the corner and extreme temperatures on the rise, air conditioning is a must, but what happens when this summer essential breaks? Of course you will want to contact an AC repair company as soon as possible, but what else should you do?
Here are four tips that will help you survive with a broken AC until it can be repaired:
Schedule a repair/replacement appointment.
Especially when temperatures are high, HVAC companies can be very busy. Sometimes it may not be possible for a service technician to visit you on the same day you call or even the next day. That being said, it’s important to call as soon as you notice a problem to ensure that you secure the soonest available appointment.
Once the technician arrives, they will be able to assess whether you need to repair or replace your current air conditioning. On average, AC repairs can cost anywhere between 125 – 460 dollars. Replacing your air conditioning can be more expensive, with prices averaging between 3,200 and 7,800 dollars. Thankfully, there are a number of financing options available, including applying for a home improvement loan, or dipping into savings.
Reduce internal and external heating.
Until your AC can be repaired or replaced, you’ll want to try to reduce the temperature inside of your home by minimizing the use of heat-generating devices and restricting heat coming in from outside.
First, focus on outdoor heat. The best thing you can do to keep the heat out is to close your windows, shades and blinds. When your home feels overly warm and your air conditioning is not working, your initial reaction may be to open the windows. However, doing so will only allow the hot air from outdoors to enter your home and increase the temperature. Windows should only be opened at night when temperatures fall. This will allow a nice breeze to enter the home and cool everyone down while they sleep. Be sure to close the windows early in the morning to try to maintain the temperature. Additionally, keeping shades and blinds closed will restrict sunlight heat from entering your home.
Secondly, tackle indoor heat. You will want to minimize or completely eliminate internal heat generation. Major home appliances, like stoves, dryers and dishwashers can contribute to increased temperatures within the home. So, try to avoid them all together, but especially during the day. Instead, opt for light summer meals that don’t require stove or oven usage. If you must use a heat source for food, try grilling outdoors. In addition, stick to the old fashion way of washing dishes, and air dry your clothes when they come out of the washer. It’s also helpful to keep the lights off as much as possible. Use lamps, portable light sources or night lights when necessary.
Utilize Fans And Ice
Once you’ve taken measures to avoid increasing the temperature, you also want to work on reducing the temperature. You can do this by using high power fans. However, don’t just dig out your old, dusty fans from the basement and turn them on. It’s important to be strategic about using fans to cool down your home.
To start with, give your fans a good cleaning, as dust can build up on them. If you don’t clean them, once you turn them on, you will simply be circulating dust around the house, which can trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, congestion and itchy eyes. These reactions can be all the more irritating when you’re hot. Ceiling fans are a bit easier to clean, but for them to be most efficient, be sure to turn them counterclockwise. At night, if you choose to open the windows, place your standing or box fans in front of the windows to help circulate the cool air. During the day, when the windows are closed, try placing large blocks or bowls of ice in front of your standing or box fans. The cool air generated from the ice, coupled with the power of the fans can help reduce the temperature in your house, as well.
Get out of the house during the day.
Even after implementing the tips above, your house may still be quite warm, especially during the day. So having a broken AC will practically force you out of the house. However, you don’t necessarily have to leave your property. If it’s warm in your home, but more bearable outside, sit on your deck or porch and enjoy being outdoors. If you have a pool, this is the perfect time to use it.
You can also use this time as an opportunity to have an adventure. Parents, take your kids out to have some fun. Of course, you may need to be conservative with spending, as you have to anticipate the cost of repairing or replacing your AC. However, there are tons of fun and inexpensive things to do with your kids, like visiting parks, public pools, and malls.
If you are a remote employee, take advantage of the chance to work from a different location. Visit your favorite local coffee shop, bookstore or library. Not only will these locations be conducive to working, they will also get you out of your home and into a cool, air conditioned environment for a few hours.
Having a broken AC can be super frustrating, but it does not have to be unbearable. Until you can get it fixed, do your best to implement the tips above. It is also a very good teaching moment for your children on how to overcome the less desirable moments in his or her lives.