When summer temperatures are soaring and the outside air is sizzling hot, your air conditioner is critical to maintaining comfort and health. Unfortunately, air conditioners occasionally malfunction or break down altogether and can leave you stuck in the stifling heat. A qualified air conditioning repair specialist, such as A & E Heating and AC Inc, can restore your comfort, but during the interim, you need to know how to prevent being overwhelmed by the heat. Below are several strategies for cooling off while your air conditioner is being repaired:
Encourage airflow across your home
Modern homes aren't designed for optimal airflow, unlike homes built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These homes were designed with several elements that permitted air to move freely from the bottom toward the top of the house. For example, high ceilings permitted hot air to rise into a space well above the heads of occupants. Transoms above doors permitted air to circulate and maintained a sense of privacy and security at the same time. Open crawl spaces beneath some homes permitted the cool air to be pulled up through the floor. In other houses, an open "run" down the middle of the home served as a breezeway that funneled air through the occupied spaces.
The good news is that you can replicate some of these features by taking several steps. Here are a couple of ways to restore that airy feeling of an older home and create a cooling airflow:
Keep interior doors open - Since you don't have transoms, opening interior doors is the easiest way to keep the air flowing throughout the house. Only close doors if absolutely necessary for privacy or safety.
Use window fans to generate a "bottom-up" current of air - If you have a two-story home, place box fans in the lower floor windows so the airflow is directed inward. In the upper floor(s), place box fans in the windows and direct the airflow outward. You may be surprised at just how effective this airflow is at maintaining a tolerable temperature level.
If you don't have two-stories, then split your windows into two zones: one of which where box fans pull in the air, the other where box fans blow air outward.
Keep your windows covered during daylight hours
If you are forced to go without air conditioning for a temporary period of time, then you will need to maintain moderate interior temperatures at all costs. As such, don't open interior blinds and drapes unless necessary or to permit window fans. By keeping window coverings closed, you will prevent radiated heat from entering; some windows admit well over 80% of the energy from the sun as heat, so this is a key to keep your home from heating up unnecessarily.
Use LED light bulbs
Modern LED bulbs are highly energy efficient and have a long lifespan. However, they also offer another important benefit to homeowners in that they emit relatively little heat energy. Ordinary incandescent light bulbs convert only about 10% of incoming electrical current into light, while the other 90% is wasted as heat. Multiply the heat production of one light bulb by ten or more, and you can see why incandescent light bulbs can really become a problem in an unairconditioned home.
To combat this problem and also lower your energy bills for the long term, replace all your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. This will keep your home cooler, plus you will reap the benefits when your electric bill comes due.
Spend time in the basement
If all else fails, spend more time in the basement during an air conditioning outage. Soil temperatures always lag behind air temperatures; that means that during the summer, the surrounding soil will likely be tens of degrees cooler than the outside air. Basements aren't always the most hospitable places, but if you need a cool break, your basement may be the best place to go in your home during an outage.