3 kids playing and splashing in a kiddie pool

AC Broke? Here are 7 Tips to Stay Cool Before the Repair Person Comes!

Imagine this: you’re chilling watching your favorite show, when, all of a sudden, the lights go out in your home. All right, you think, this is fine. That is until you realize that if the power has gone out in your home, that means your air conditioning is out of commission as well. If you live with a temperate climate, you’d be fine. Those of us living in hotter climates, like California or North Carolina, are liable to suffer without air conditioning during the summertime. So what can you do for yourself if you find yourself without air conditioning? While the following tips won’t be better than air conditioning, they should be able to hold you over until you can get the power’s back. Even if the power isn’t out, you can use these tips to save you some money during the summertime.

Close your windows

While it sounds like a good idea to open up your windows to cool down your house, hold off for a second. During the daytime, the sun’s rays will be the most potent. If you leave the windows open, they’ll heat up your home and make it much more uncomfortable for you. It’s even better to get black-out curtains, which help to reflect light, effectively cooling your home. Make sure to get lighter colored ones, as darker shades actually attract light and therefore will heat up your home.

You can, however, open the windows during the nighttime. Since the sun will be down, you should be able to enjoy the fresh air without worrying about sunlight heating your home.

Eat cold/simple foods

OK, we understand this one might sound too obvious. It makes sense that eating ice cream would you cool off on a sunny day. However, there’s more to it than just that. For example, you could prepare something like a salad or sandwich, instead of something that would require the stove or oven. Appliances like these have the nasty effect of heating up a kitchen, which ends up spreading to the rest of your home. If you prepare a simple meal, you’re effectively bypassing this issue. If you something a little more involved is calling your name, there’s still hope. You could invest in a solar oven, which will allow you to take your cooking outside. This means you can enjoy cooked food without heating up the rest of your home. If you don’t just have a solar oven hanging around your home( who does?), you could use this experience as an excuse to take out the grill and have a BBQ with friends and family.

Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages

Like all things, alcohol and caffeine are best enjoyed in moderation. This could be no more so true when you don’t have access to air conditioning. Both alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages, like coffee and certain sodas, are considered diuretics. This means that these things promote urine production, which is something you definitely don’t want to deal with if you’re trying to stay cool. After all, excessive urination often leads to urination, especially if you’re sweating more than usual. If you’re feeling dehydrated, either from excessive urination or from sweating, the best thing to go for is water.

Minimize exposure

It’s best to stay indoors if you’re trying to stay cool, especially if it’s 80 degrees or higher outside. If you have something to do that just has to be done outside today, like your neighborhood’s annual lawn mowing competition that you just can’t miss, you should see if fit can be moved to earlier in the day when it’s cooler. If you can’t do that, and you have to be outside, you should dress appropriately. As much as you might like that triple layer jacket, less is more is king during the summer. To stay cool, you should wear loose fitting, light colored clothes. Tight, dark clothes tend to make you sweat more, which does not help your goal of staying cool.

Go to a pool

While not having air conditioning can be a bad experience, it doesn’t have to be! After all, what’s a better time to go to a pool then when it’s hot outside? Bonus points if you bring friends along for a true pool party.

Drink plenty of water

One of the best things you can do to stay cool without an air conditioning system is to drink water. While many people think pouring the water on themselves is more effective than consuming it, nothing could be further from the truth. The best way to think of how this could be comes from the Center for Disease Control, who explains that your body is similar in some ways to an air conditioner. That’s why you should drink water to fuel the body’s air conditioning processes, instead of dumping it on yourself for quick relief. While there is growing number of people suggesting to be careful about water consumption, you can rest assured that for the average person, you should be able to enjoy as much water as you’d like without any repercussions.

Use a fan/turn off the lights

If you don’t have air conditioning but are lucky enough to have power, this tip is for you. While the usage of fans seems like an obvious go-to, there are some tricks you can use to make fans more effective. If you have a box fan or an oscillating fan, you’re probably tempted to place them by the wall. However, this is actually counterproductive to cooling down yourself and your room. These types of fans do release some heat from the back portion. By placing the back towards the wall, the heat produced by the fan will be blown back towards you, making a fan effectively pointless. To optimize your fan’s potential, you should place the fan at the entrance of the room you want to cool, pointing inwards. This allows the heat to dissipate elsewhere while allowing you to enjoy the cooling effects of the fan.

With these tips in mind, the prospect of an afternoon without air conditioning isn’t so daunting. These tips and tricks are great even if you do have power, and would like to save money during the summer. The next time you’re air conditioning is down, you’ll be able to battle the heat without breaking a sweat.