Summer Air Conditioning Emergencies – What to Do When They Happen to You

man using fan to cool offWe all love the feeling of walking into our home or office on a hot day and feeling the pleasant cooling effects of air conditioning. 

In fact, it is truly amazing what air conditioning has allowed humans around the globe to do.  We are able to live in places that may otherwise be almost uninhabitable or unpleasant at best.  During the heat of the day, we are able to continue being productive or enjoy our relaxation time.

But what happens when your air conditioning quits working? 

It’s 90 or even 100 degrees out, it’s humid and all of a sudden you have no AC.  Not only is it unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous!

What to do

Calling a professional to fix your air conditioning is the obvious answer, but there are several things you can do before calling the experts that could save you money and get your AC up and running sooner.

First, if your AC has quit completely, be sure and check the breaker.  AC units take lots of power, and they can occasionally blow a fuse.  Hopefully your breaker box is well-labeled.  If so, make sure the one labeled for air conditioning is in the ‘ON’ position.

Next, check the air filter.  A dirty air filter can stop the cooling effects of the air conditioner.

Then check for ice on the air conditioning unit itself.  If there is ice on the unit, the indoor coil may have frozen blocking cool air from entering your ventilation system.  You will have to turn the air conditioner off in order to let the ice melt, and turning the system fan on can help to speed the melting.  After a few hours, you should be able to turn the air conditioner back on, through if it was frozen there may be a more serious issue and you should consult with a professional.

If none of these solutions work, call in the professionals.

Surviving with no AC

While you are waiting for a professional to fix your AC, there are a few things you can do to keep comfortable while you’re waiting.

Although most of us like to let sunlight into our homes, it is a good idea to go without it when your air conditioning is broken.  Close your windows, shades and shutters during the day to keep out the warm sunlight and hot mid-day air.

The exception to this is keeping a couple of upstairs (if you have one) windows open with fans in them blowing outward.  Since heat rises, you can actually blow hot air out of your house by pointing fans out the window.  You can continue doing this all day and all night, as long as it is warmer than you would like in your home.

Keep air circulating.  Although fans do not actually cool the air within your house, they can help to keep cool what is directly below or in front of them.

Finally, try and minimize your daytime activity.  Instead of cleaning your house and doing other chores that require physical labor, save those tasks for the cooler morning and evening hours.

Stay cool out there!


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