Air conditioners aren't foolproof. They will occasionally break down or need maintenance, usually at the most inconvenient times. If you are suffering an air conditioning outage, surviving the heat until necessary repairs can be made is essential. Below are a few helpful tips and tricks you can implement to make those sweltering hours and/or days go by a little more smoothly.
Fans may be an obvious answer, but it is how you use those fans that can make the most difference. If you have ceiling fans, make the necessary adjustments to make the blades spin counterclockwise. This can usually be done through the fan's remote or by a switch located by the blades. If you can't find the switch to reverse the rotation of the blades, consult your owner's manual. When the blades are spinning counterclockwise, they pull the hot air up instead of push it down.
Box fans can also make a world of difference. They are cheap and can be found at almost any home improvement store. After purchasing a box fan, place it facing outward in a window or doorway and adjust the speed to the highest setting. This will create a vacuum effect, pulling hot air out of the home or establishment. If you live in a climate where the mornings are quite cool, you can reverse the box fan to pull cold air into the home before it heats up outside. Reverse the fans once the temperatures start to rise.
Mind Your Heat Sources
There are a variety of items in homes or business that put off heat. Electronics, ovens, light bulbs and other small appliances are all heat-causing culprits. Use these items as minimally as possible and turn off or unplug them when they aren't in use.
Another way to reduce heat in your home or business is to check for air leaks. Energy.gov offers a detailed list of common air leaks as well as ways to check and repair any leaks you may be experiencing. Keeping your home airtight will keep the cold air in and the hot air out.
Windows can be a serious source of heat. You can create simple, quick solutions by adding curtains to block any unwanted rays. You can find curtains that offer an extra layer of thermal protection at most home improvement stores.
If you are working with extremely large windows, or windows you don't want to block with curtains, you can apply a protective heat deflecting film. Depending on the number of windows you need to cover, this may be more affordable than purchasing window treatments.
The best way to beat the heat is to have your air conditioning unit serviced regularly by professionals. They are able to diagnose potential problems before they get out of hand. If you do find yourself with a malfunctioning HVAC unit, contact a qualified repair company, such as J. P. Griffin Inc., right away. During the hot summer months, they may have a long list of clients. The sooner you can get on their schedule, the better. In the meantime, try to stay cool by making your fans work for you, minding your heat sources and covering your windows.