A person checking out an HVAC unit with he words, "staying cool when the AC goes out."

If you’re like most homeowners in the Dallas area, you know all too well just how sweltering the summer months can be. During these hot months, you rely more than ever on your home’s air conditioning system to keep things cool and comfortable indoors.

But what do you do when your air conditioning stops working? While not an ideal situation, there are some steps you can take to keep your home as cool as possible until an experienced HVAC technician arrives to handle your AC repair.

1. Lower the Shades

Start by closing up all the window treatments in your home, especially if your AC outage has occurred in the middle of the day. By closing your curtains, blinds, and other window treatments, you keep sunlight out of your home that could otherwise create a greenhouse effect and raise temperatures. If any of your windows do not have treatments on them, tack up blankets or sheets as a temporary measure to keep the sun’s rays out of your home.

2. Use Nature’s Cooling

If your air conditioning is still not working by nightfall, it’s time to take advantage of some natural cooling solutions. For example, opening up your windows at night will allow some of the heat that has accumulated in your home all day to escape while also drawing cooler air inside. Just make sure to close your windows again in the morning to keep hot air out as much as possible during the day.

3. Use Bowls of Ice and a Portable Fan

AC vent

Did you know that with just a portable fan and a bowl of ice, you can create your own mini air conditioner? Simply fill a bowl (or several) with ice and place them in front of a running table fan or box fan.

The air from the fan will pick up the coolness from the ice and blow it into the room. You can do this with as many fans and bowls of ice as you have available to stay cool during the hottest parts of the day.

4. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise

Now is also a good time to make sure that any ceiling fans in your home are running in a counterclockwise direction. If they are running clockwise, they will actually be sucking air up into the ceiling rather than blowing cool air down towards you

Most fans have a switch located near the base of the fan that changes the direction of the blades. By making sure that your fans are running counterclockwise, you can make sure hot air is pulled up and away from the ground while also effectively circulating cooler air throughout your home.

5. Use Cold Towels

Applying cold towels directly to your neck and/or forehead is another way to stay comfortable when the air conditioning in your home isn’t working. Simply run a small towel under cold water and then apply it to your head or neck for instant relief. If you have room in your freezer, consider storing a few wet towels there so that you can swap them out as needed.

In addition to applying cold towels directly to your body for relief, hanging up cold and damp towels in front of your windows can also help keep the heat at bay.

6. Avoid Using Ovens or Stoves

HVAC technician running maintenance

Now is not the time to use any heat-generating appliances such as your oven or your stove. You should also avoid using your clothes dryer when your home does not have working air conditioning.

If you need to dry clothes, consider line-drying them instead, or simply wait to do laundry until your AC is repaired. Running these appliances will only add unnecessary heat to your home and add to your discomfort.

Instead of cooking, stick with easy meals that do not require heat. Salads and sandwiches are great options that will also help you stay cool and refreshed.

This could also be a good time to treat yourself to some cold desserts (such as popsicles and ice cream) from your local grocery store.

Need Help Getting Your AC Back Up and Running?

Dealing with a malfunctioning air conditioner can be a hassle, especially during the sweltering summer months here in Texas. In addition to following these tips, call a trusted and experienced HVAC professional to diagnose and repair your home’s air conditioning as soon as possible.

At Select Air Conditioning and Heating, we are proud to offer air conditioning repair across Lewisville, Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to find out more about our HVAC services or to schedule your appointment! We look forward to helping you stay cool and comfortable no matter what Texas weather brings next.

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