If you rely on your air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable during the summer, you are not alone. According to CityLab, 87 percent of U.S. households are equipped with air conditioning. That means that under normal circumstances most Americans can turn on the air conditioner when temperatures soar. Sometimes, however, air conditioners break down leaving you to battle the heat until you can get your air conditioner serviced. Follow these tips to fight the heat until the repair person from a place like Neffsville Plumbing & Heating Services arrives.
Cooling the Air
- Ceiling Fans: Turn on the ceiling fan with the blades turning in a counter-clockwise direction when you look up at it. This forces air to blow down on you and makes you feel cooler. The faster the fan, the cooler you will feel.
- Air Circulators: Air circulators look like traditional fans, but work differently. An air circulator is used to circulate air in the entire room. Place the air circulator so that the stream of air is directed at the opposing wall (or the ceiling) to force the air to circulate throughout the room. Air circulators can also be placed in the hallway or doorway to encourage airflow between rooms. Air circulators keep everyone in the room more comfortable, where a fan only brings comfort to those sitting in front of it.
- Fans: Traditional fans work best when directed towards you. They are less powerful than air circulators. A small fan on your desk or work area or beside the bed helps keep you cool.
- Ice: Place a bowl or a bucket of ice on a nightstand and place a fan directly behind the bowl. Direct the flow of air downward onto the ice. The ice will cool the air and redirect it upward, bringing you refreshing, cool air.
Keeping Heat Out
Keeping heat out is just as important as cooling the air inside your home. That means blocking the sun's rays, especially during the afternoon. Follow these tips to keep the sun from heating up your home.
- Close the Windows: It may be tempting to open all the windows to let fresh air inside, but your house will warm up quickly as hot air drifts inside. To keep the house cool, close the windows before it heats up outside.
- Shades and Blinds: Closing the shades or blinds (or pulling the drapes) on the side of the house with direct sunlight prevents the sun from heating up your home.
- Towels or Blankets: If you don't have light-blocking shades, hang towels or blankets over the windows. They work to block the sun and insulate your home against the heat.
- Aluminum Foil: Cut pieces of cardboard to the size of your windows and cover them with aluminum foil, with the reflective side facing out. Press the cardboard into the window frame to block the sun and reflect the heat away from your home.
- Foam Board: Ordinary foam board used for crafts and displays can also be used to cover your windows. Cut the foam board to fit your windows and slide it into the window frame for a quick shield against the sun.
Makeshift Air Conditioning
Making a makeshift air conditioner can be a lot of fun, especially if you have children. This method has been used since ancient times to cool the home. Here's how to do it.
- Open the windows.
- Soak towels or blankets in cold water and wring out the excess water. They should be saturated, but not dripping.
- Hang the wet towels or blankets over the open window. As air drifts into the window, it will be cooled by the wet fabric and make your home feel cooler. This works well in areas where the humidity level is low but beware. The wet fabric will also raise the humidity level in your home. If you are experiencing hot, muggy weather, use caution in adding more moisture to the air.
Other methods of keeping your home cool during hot weather include closing all the windows during the day and then opening them at night when the air off cools outside. Opening windows on opposite sides of the room often creates a breeze through the room. Opening the windows at night when it cools off outside and running an attic fan will also draw cool air into the home.