How to Keep Your Home Cool in an Emergency

No Arizona homeowner wants to face an emergency air conditioner breakdown. Weather, power outages, and other factors can strike at any time, and within minutes your home can go from comfy and cool to uncomfortably warm. Fortunately, there are several tips and tricks you can use to keep your home at a bearable temperature while you wait for the problem to be resolved.

First things first: Contact a professional

Time is of the essence when it comes to an air conditioning emergency. Don’t delay in contacting a professional to come to your home for a repair. At Chas Roberts, our emergency services include support on weekends and holidays at no additional cost—so whenever an emergency strikes, you can rest easy knowing that we’re available to help.

Oftentimes, our technicians have the parts and materials on hand to fix most common air conditioning problems during the initial call. However, if we need to order or fabricate a part to repair your air conditioner, we will work as quickly as possible to get the part you need, and get it installed.

Short-term solutions

While you’re waiting for the professionals to arrive, or for a repair to be completed, there are several short-term solutions you can use to keep your home as cool as possible. With one or more of the following solutions in place, you’ll be able to remain comfortable in your home, no matter what the temperature outside is.

Turn on the fans

Ceiling fans, desk fans, and oscillating floor fans are great tools for keeping your home cool without air conditioning. While fans don’t actually reduce the temperature in a room, the increased movement of air is able to trick your body into thinking the temperature is lower. To take your cooling to the next level, fill a large bowl or baking sheet with ice and position it in front of a fan. The fan will blow air over the ice and create an extra-chilled breeze that’s sure to cool you down.

Close the blinds

It’s estimated that up to 30% of unwanted heat in your home comes from your windows. Shades, curtains, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Because of this, keeping your home as dark as possible is a crucial step in keeping cool without air conditioning. To keep the sweltering sun at bay, close the blinds, shades, or curtains on every window in your home. If any of your windows lack blinds or other coverings, you can use bedsheets or blankets secured with duct tape or thumbtacks as a temporary DIY solution. It may not look nice, but it’s effective in a pinch.

Turn off and unplug

All lightbulbs give off heat, which can contribute to the overall temperature of your home. Keeping all but the most necessary lights turned off can reduce the impact of this heat source. Large electronics such as desktop computers or gaming consoles can also make your home feel warmer when they’re turned on. It’s best to turn off and unplug these devices when you’re not using them.

Additionally, you should limit the use of your large appliances, such as your stove, oven, dishwasher, and washing machine. These appliances all generate heat when they operate, which can make your home feel warmer. It may be best to limit yourself to preparing and serving cold foods while your air conditioning is out, or limit cooking to the evenings when it isn’t quite as hot outside.

Focus on internal temperature

When it comes to staying comfortable without air conditioning, controlling your internal temperature is just as important as controlling the temperature of your home. After all, no number of tips and tricks will do any good if your body can’t feel the benefits.

Stay hydrated

Water is the fuel your body needs to avoid dehydration and maintain a cool and comfortable temperature. Drinking cold water will help you feel cooler and make you less vulnerable to the negative effects of the heat, including heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it throughout the day, as opposed to drinking liquids like soda and juice that won’t do much to hydrate you.

Use cold compresses

Applying cold compresses to pulse points can help you cool down fast. Pulse points include your wrists, neck, elbows, ankles, and the area behind your knees. You can make your own cold compresses by freezing an ice pack or water bottle, or soaking a washcloth in cold water. Another option is to fill a sock with rice and freeze it for about an hour. Because grains such as rice do not hold a lot of heat, the compress will remain cool for at least 30 minutes.

Sleep low and light

It’s a simple fact of physics—heat rises. That’s why sleeping on the lowest floor of your home is likely to feel significantly cooler than sleeping upstairs. To take it one step further, put your mattress on the floor to get closer to the cool air.

You should also sleep in light, breathable fabrics like cotton, and make sure that your bedding is breathable as well. That might mean swapping your usual polyester, satin, or silk sheets for lightweight cotton ones. Slightly dampening your sheets and pillowcases, or even popping them in the freezer, before you lay down for the night can also help you feel nice and chilled.

Prevent emergencies with regular maintenance

An air conditioner that is older than 7 years, or one that hasn’t been properly maintained, is somewhat of a ticking time bomb when it comes to sudden breakdowns. While things may be going well now, there’s no guarantee that your air conditioner will work tomorrow. Rather than take the chance of getting caught off guard on a sweltering summer day, take control of the situation by getting in the habit of having your air conditioning maintained at least once a year. At Chas Roberts, our exclusive 26-point maintenance plan examines your air conditioner from top to bottom, with a thorough focus on ensuring that all parts and components are in good working order.

If you’re holding on to an older unit that’s starting to show signs of wear, replacing the unit altogether is a smart decision. Not only will you save in the long run by avoiding costly repairs, you’ll also greatly lower your chances of a sudden breakdown.

How Chas Roberts can help

From routine repairs to sudden emergencies, the expert technicians at Chas Roberts have seen it all in the 75 years that we’ve been serving the Valley. For all your air conditioning needs, we’re here to help. Contact us today.