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How to Survive an Air Conditioner Breakdown

Woman sweating
It's hard to imagine being without air conditioning, especially since modern systems are more reliable than past incarnations. So if your A/C system conks out at the worst possible moment, you might not know what to do. At Preferred Mechanical Services, we offer 24-hour emergency service just for situations like these. But until one of our technicians can arrive to repair your A/C system, here are a few things you can do to beat the heat.

Move to the Lowest Floor of Your Home

Warm indoor air tends to migrate to the highest points of your home, and factors such as the stack effect, which draws warm air into cool areas, can cause even more warm air to come in. As a result, when your air conditioner stops working, the highest floors of your home could easily end up being the hottest. With your A/C system sidelined, you'll want to move down to the lowest floor in your home. For many, this means moving down to the basement level. For a variety of reasons, basements are often several degrees cooler than the floors above. Using this temperature difference to your advantage can help you survive the heat until your HVAC technician arrives.

Family using fans

Use Ceiling Fans and Portable Fans to Create a Breeze

If you have one or more portable fans lying around, you can use these to circulate cool air throughout your home. You can arrange your fans to draw air from cooler areas of your home. Fans may not actually lower the temperature, but the evaporative effect of air passing over your skin can help you feel cooler. You can also use your ceiling fans, if you have any installed in your home or apartment, to circulate cool air. Just remember to have your ceiling fans set to rotate counterclockwise so that the surrounding air is pushed down rather than drawn upward by your ceiling fan.

Close Your Windows and Drop the Blinds

Opening up your windows may seem like the sensible thing to do when your A/C system is busted. Barring the occasional cool breeze, however, open windows can introduce more heat into your home. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep your windows closed unless outdoor temperatures are cool enough to justify your having them open. Even when they're closed, your windows can introduce a lot of radiant heat into your home, and that is no good when your A/C system is out of commission. Keeping your blinds and curtains closed may rob your home of its natural light, but it can also help keep your home relatively cool until help arrives.

Turn Down the Lights

Incandescent light bulbs are notorious for giving off large amounts of heat during operation. If your home still uses these conventional light bulbs, you'll want to use these as little as possible while your A/C system is out of service. Dimmer switches should also be kept at the lowest settings during this time. Other heat-generating appliances and accessories should be turned down or turned off during your ordeal. You can also forget about standing in front of the refrigerator—doing so won't keep you cool, and you'll waste lots of energy while doing it

Man in pool

Take a Dip in the Pool

If push comes to shove, it might be time to take a refreshing dip in the backyard pool, if you own one or have access to one. Otherwise, just hanging out in a public, air-conditioned space can help you pass the time while you’re waiting on your HVAC technician. If your technician can't arrive until the next day, you may want to consider spending the night in a hotel or couch-surfing with friends or family. Thanks to our prompt service, you won't have to worry about being without air conditioning for too long. Don't hesitate to contact us whenever you have an A/C emergency to take care of.