How to Survive the Heat when Your Air Conditioner Goes Out

When your air conditioner goes out, things can start to heat up very quickly. You can certainly call someone to come repair it, but in the meantime, you might need a few helpful tips. Here are some of the best ways to survive the heat when your air conditioner is on the fritz and you’re waiting for repairs.

#1 – Use a Window Unit

If you have central air, then you may not have a window unit for every room of your home. However, even one window air conditioner in a small, closed-off room can help you survive the heat while you’re waiting for repairs. Make sure you check the BTUs and the size of the room the air conditioner can cool, then use it in an appropriately-sized room. While your family might need to gather in a bedroom for a few hours, it’s better than overheating. You can find 5000 BTU window air conditioners for around $100, and they’re always nice to have on hand for emergencies.

#2 – A Fan and a Bowl of Ice Water

If you don’t have a window air conditioner, another option involves making your own with a box fan and a bowl of ice water. Just fill a large bowl (the larger, the better) with ice water, then put it in front of a box fan blowing in your direction. As the air passes over the cold ice water, the heat and humidity will transfer to the water in the bowl, making the air feel much cooler. In fact, it can reduce the air temperature and humidity enough in a small room to keep you from sweating.

#3 – Keep Your Head, Hands, and Feet Cool

While you should never put any part of your body in ice water for an extended period, there is some benefit to keeping your head, hands, and feet cool. By wrapping a cloth soaked in cool water around your head, holding ice packs in your hands, and keeping your feet in a tub of cool (not freezing) water, you’ll feel far more comfortable than before. That’s because the cloth absorbs the heat from your extremities, thereby cooling your entire body. It’s one of the simplest ways to survive the heat if your air conditioner stops working.

#4 – Take a Dip

Floridians swim in the ocean, swimming pools, lakes, and rivers to help them stay cool during the hot summer months, and for good reason. The water helps to absorb body heat far more efficiently than the air. Even a small pool is better than nothing; just make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. If you don’t have a pool and you have no access to one, you can survive the heat with cool (not cold) baths and showers.

#5 – Open the Window and Hang a Damp Cloth

Hanging a damp cloth over several windows can also help keep you cooler, especially if there’s no airflow in your home. The towel should be light in color and hung in the very center of the window. As air passes through it, the water picks up some of the heat, thus cooling the air in your home. Better still, make sure your ceiling fans are set to the counter-clockwise direction to keep the air circulating.

There’s no reason you should sweat when your air conditioner goes out. If you can’t visit a friend or family member, and if taking a trip to the beach is out of the question, these tips will help you survive the heat. You might even have fun with them while you wait for your repairs.