The invention of central air conditioning has made it possible for most Americans to stay cool and comfortable during even the worst heat waves. With most homes, cars, offices, and factories now cooled by some form of central air conditioning, having to go without if for a few hours or days while awaiting repairs to faulty components can be devastating. Even worse, for some people who suffer from certain illnesses or conditions, the prospect of dealing with hot temperatures during an air conditioning failure can cause severe discomfort, or even death. If you live in an area where hot temperatures are common during one or more seasons, the following tips will help you keep your cool and remain safe should your air conditioning system stop working.
Assess the situation immediately
The first step in staying cool and safe during an air conditioning failure is to assess the situation as soon as the problem arises. Try to determine:
- the length of the expected outage based on when your repair contractor is scheduled to come to your home to assess the problem and make the necessary repairs
- any immediate health needs for you or other occupants in the home
- the weather conditions being forecast for the time frame during which you will likely be without air conditioning
Utilize fans or window air conditioners, if possible
If your central air conditioning unit is expected to be out of service for more than a few hours, keeping the home at a safe, comfortable temperature can usually be accomplished by utilizing fans or window air conditioners. To use fans effectively to keep interior spaces cool, you will need to:
- ensure that ceiling fans are set on summer settings to draw cooling air up from the floor instead of pulling warmer air down from the ceiling
- correctly use two or more box fans to both draw in outside air and expel interior air to lower interior temperatures
- make sure that any box fans set to draw in outside are placed in shady windows to maximize their cooling effect
When using window air conditioners temporarily during a central air conditioning failure, make sure that the one you are using is correctly installed in the window and appropriately sized for the space that needs to be cooled. If your window unit is a small one only capable of cooling only one room, close room doors or use curtains or plastic sheeting to form an air barrier to keep the cool air in and help make the space as comfortable as possible.
Contact a company like Smedley & Associates for more tips.