Learning About Furnaces

Keep Your Cool: What To Do When The AC Breaks

Do you have a long summer weekend ahead of you, but your AC just decided to quit? Don't resign yourself to suffering through the heat while you wait for a Monday morning service call. There are things you can do now to help keep you cool until the repair technician (from a local outlet such as Timmerman's Heating & Air Conditioning) arrives. 

#1: Do Some Minor Troubleshooting

Sometimes, AC problems are minor issues you can fix yourself, even if you have no HVAC knowledge. Check for these common problems:

  • Check the circuit breaker. Your AC is likely on it's own breaker, so only it will be affected if a power surge caused the circuit to trip.

  • Play with the thermostat. Many AC problems are because of a faulty thermostat. Try bumping it down a bit to see if it triggers the AC to come on. If it does, you will still need a repair but at least you can stay cool this weekend.

  • Make sure it isn't frozen. This is more common on window units than central units. If the AC has ice on it, turn it off and let it melt before powering it back on. You will need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't freeze up again while you wait for your service call.

Conserve the Cool

If you can't get the AC working again, it's time to keep your cool. Start by closing windows and drapes during the heat of the day. Basically, if the sun is hitting a window, that window should be kept closed. Open the windows during the cooler evening and morning hours, then shut them again during the day. This will trap the cooler air indoors. 

Use Fans Correctly

Do you have ceiling fans? If so, check that the blades are turning counterclockwise. Many fans have a switch on the housing to control the movement direction. Counterclockwise movements push air downward, where it can cool you.

If you are using floor or stand fans, place them in front of a window when the window is open. This will help draw cool outdoor air into the home. If it gets really hot inside, you can place a tray of ice in front of the fan. The air will cool the room as it blows across the ice.

Ditch the Electronics

Computers, televisions, small appliances – these all put off heat. Instead, kick back with a book or a hobby that doesn't heat up your home. For the same reason, you will also want to minimize the use of interior lights when it's hot inside.

Use this time to enjoy cold foods or to grill outside. If you want to cook in a small appliance, such as a slow cooker, set it up on the porch or in the garage so it won't heat the inside of your home.

With a little creativity, you can still enjoy your weekend, even without the AC.