Warm weather is here but it doesn’t take long for that pleasant feeling to become unbearable as the temperature increases. There are many ways for you to stay cool in the summer like eating a popsicle or going to the lake. But sometimes you’d rather just stay home in the cool air conditioning. Then the unthinkable happens. Your air conditioner unit has slowed to a halt and is no longer distributing the cool air. Now you’re wondering what do I do? Here are a few tips for staying cool while waiting for a repairman.
Go someplace that is cooler and don’t open the windows.
In the situation that the repairman can come that day, but it is going to be several hours until then, it is a good idea to go somewhere in the meantime. You could see if you have a relative that would be willing to let you come by and visit. Another option is to go to a place for the public that has air conditioning, like an indoor mall.
There is something that everyone wants to do when the air conditioning breaks and that is to open windows and put fans there. This is not a good idea. When the air goes out you have all the residual cold air in the house. When you open the windows all that cool air leaves and is replaced with the warm air from outside. The best time to open the windows in this situation is during nighttime when it is naturally cooler.
Let the professionals do their job.
It may seem easy to fix the air conditioner, but it can be more of a hassle than you think. There are many reasons why you should let the professionals do it. First, if you try to fix it yourself, you could make the warranty ineffective. Second, you more than likely will not have the parts you need readily available. Third, you could hurt yourself if you are not sure of what you are doing. Finally, if you are not knowledgeable in air conditioners, you probably will not be able to figure out the problem to properly fix it.
Tips for appliances.
You may be thinking that since your air conditioner is out, that opening the fridge or freezer to feel the cold air would be the next best thing. Not a good idea. You run the risk of burning out that machine, which can be even more expensive than fixing the original problem. An average fridge repair can be up to $330¹. Another problem with having the refrigerator cool your house is that this will drastically increase your electric bill.
It is also important to rethink your game plan about using other appliances in the house. Now might not be the best time to make a Sunday roast dinner because the oven will heat the very limited cool air in the house. Try to use the microwave to cook or reheat food instead. Another appliance to avoid is the dishwasher. Like the oven, it radiates heat when in use so it may be best to handwash the dishes in the sink. Limit your use of lights as they too give off heat when used for long periods of time. Let the fans you own to do their job. Position them around the inside of the house so so that there is circulation and avoid placing them in windows. Invest in a portable air conditioning unit.
Use a wet towel.
A quick and cheap trick to stay cool: run the towel under cold water, squeeze some of the excess out and then put the towel around your neck. There is real science behind this. According to Safeopedia², the cool wet towel takes in the heat from the body, and then the heat is released through evaporation. As the heat evaporates it starts to cool you off. This is great because it is an easy and inexpensive way to stay cool in a hot situation until the air conditioning can be repaired.
¹ Home Advisor. (2021). Learn how much it costs to Repair a Refrigerator. HomeAdvisor. https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/kitchens/repair-refrigerator-freezer/.
² Matei, K. B. (2019, June 3). How do cooling towels work? safeopedia.com. https://www.safeopedia.com/how-do-cooling-towels-work/7/8056.