Staying cool during an HVAC emergency is essential for maintaining comfort and safety, especially during those unbearably hot summer days. Our commercial and residential AC team at Air Products & Services shares tips and strategies to help you keep cool when your air conditioning system takes an untimely break.
Identify the Problem
The first step in staying cool during an HVAC emergency is quickly identifying the issue with your air conditioning system. Some problems might be more easily resolved, such as a tripped circuit breaker or a dirty air filter, while others may require professional help. Awareness of common HVAC issues and their symptoms can quickly let you know it’s time to contact professionals and minimize the time spent in the heat.
Keep Air Circulating
Promoting airflow throughout your home can help you stay cool when your AC system is down. Set up fans to circulate air, positioning them strategically to create a cross-breeze. If the outdoor temperature is lower than inside, consider opening windows and doors to let in the cooler air. However, when the outdoor temperature is higher, limit the amount of outside air coming in to maintain a cooler indoor environment.
Block out the Sun
Direct sunlight can substantially increase the temperature inside your home, making it even more challenging to stay cool during an HVAC emergency. Our commercial AC maintenance technicians recommend closing the blinds and curtains, particularly on windows that receive direct sunlight. You can also use reflective materials like aluminum foil or sun-blocking window film to reflect the sun’s rays and prevent them from heating your living spaces.
What you wear can significantly affect how you feel when your AC is down. Choose lightweight, breathable clothing made of materials like cotton or linen to help your body stay cooler. Wear looser-fitting garments to promote airflow around your skin, and consider staying barefoot or wearing sandals to prevent heat from being trapped in your shoes.
This is crucial, especially during an HVAC emergency. Drinking plenty of water can help regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating. Remember that alcohol and caffeine can promote dehydration, so avoid or limit your consumption of these beverages. If you’re feeling particularly warm, reaching for a cold drink can help provide instant relief, and incorporating ice chips, popsicles, or frozen fruit into your diet can also offer a refreshing, heat-combating snack.
Adjust Your Activities
Physical activity can generate heat, causing your body temperature to rise. Therefore, most commercial AC maintenance technicians recommend postponing any strenuous tasks or exercise until your AC is functioning again or until the cooler hours of the day. Instead, focus on more relaxed, sedentary activities, such as reading or watching a movie. Additionally, taking cool showers or baths can help lower your body temperature and provide temporary relief from the heat.
We all know that hot air rises, so as a general rule of thumb, the lower you are in your home, the cooler you’ll be during an emergency HVAC situation. If you have a basement, try to spend most of your time there until your AC is restored.
Create a Cool Space
If possible, designate a room in your home as a “cooling sanctuary” during an HVAC emergency. Close off the room from the rest of the house and use fans, portable air conditioning units, or an open window (if the outdoor temperature permits) to maintain a cooler temperature in the space. You can use this room as a refuge from the heat, retreating there periodically to cool off before heading back into the warmer parts of your home.
Use a Towel and Cold Water
Another trick is to wet a towel or a cloth with cold water and drape it over yourself. This can provide a cool sensation and help you relax better. Use multiple towels by using one and put the others in the freezer. Swap the towels as soon as it loses its coolness.
Turn off Heat-Generating Appliances
Many appliances in your home generate heat when in use, so it’s essential to minimize their use during an HVAC emergency. Our professional air conditioning installation technicians recommend unplugging electronics when not in use, as they can still generate heat even when turned off. Also, try to cook using methods that don’t produce too much heat, such as microwaving, using a slow cooker, or opting for cold meals like salads and sandwiches. Avoid using the oven or stove, as these can significantly increase the temperature in your kitchen and surrounding rooms.
Open the Windows at Night
Opening windows at night can also be a great way to keep the indoor temperature down, as the cooler outdoor air can filter in while the hotter air can escape. Open your windows as soon as the sun goes down, but remember to close them in the morning.
Invest in a Cooling Pillow and Bedding
Also, sleeping on cool surfaces, such as cooling pillows and bedding, can help provide relief when an HVAC emergency strikes. Cooling pillows and bedding materials are designed to transfer heat away from your body, reducing your overall body temperature and promoting more restful sleep.
Seek Professional Help
If you have an HVAC emergency and need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts. They can offer air conditioning installation services for new systems if yours is beyond repair. If you’re a homeowner and need help with your residential AC, trust technicians who specialize in servicing home cooling systems. And for businesses dealing with malfunctioning air conditioning systems, commercial AC maintenance ensures your employees and customers stay comfortable even in the heat.
Contact Us for Your HVAC Emergencies
For assistance with your residential and commercial HVAC needs in Tarzana or Van Nuys, CA, contact Air Products & Services at (818) 989-2030. We have factory-trained technicians and a fleet of service trucks on call to provide emergency maintenance as needed. All our trucks are equipped with a full inventory of equipment and parts for replacement, so you can rest assured that when our techs arrive, we’re ready to tackle your HVAC emergency.
You can also visit our contact page to learn more about our residential and commercial air conditioning installation services. Our team of experts is here to help you stay cool, no matter what challenges your air conditioning system throws your way.