Air conditioners are a very cool appliance, and if you happen to have one that works you are probably pretty cool, too. But what about when the AC is on the fritz? Naturally, you’ll want to call the repairman, but you need to be able to stay cool while you wait for the repair to be complete. Believe it or not, some people don’t even have an air conditioner, so you can learn some handy tips from them on how to keep cool when your air conditioner isn’t.
Create a Cross-Breeze
In the morning and evening, when the outside temperature is at its coolest, open windows and doors with screens on opposite sides of the house to create a cross-breeze, or draft, which will travel through your home and cool it down. The idea is to let the hot interior air escape, while cool outside air takes its place. For extra effect, turn on your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, to help suck hot air out.
Take Advantage of the Cool Side
Obviously, the sun comes up on one side and goes down on the other. To prevent your house from heating up, deny the sun a chance to shine in. The east side of your home will be hotter in the morning, and the west side will be hotter in the evening. Adjust your window coverings to keep the sun’s rays out, and don’t open windows that are in a particularly hot spot, such as a dark-colored deck, patio, or rooftop.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
The clever people who invented ceiling fans added a bonus feature: reversibility. Did you know that your fans should rotate clockwise in the winter and counter-clockwise in the summer? The tilt of the fan blades will push warm air down when spinning to the right, and will pull warm air up when spinning to the left. How cool is that? Check the side of your fan’s motor unit for a small switch, and move it to the correct position. It is easier to keep cool in the summer when you have motorized help and a reliable professional to help you keep it running.
Turn Off Unused Lights and Appliances
A great way to save energy and reduce your home’s temperature is to minimize the use of electricity. Incandescent lightbulbs emit a lot of heat, and so do computers. Anything that isn’t in use should be turned off.
Cook Outdoors, or Not at All
Few things heat up a house faster than turning on the stove and oven. If it’s a particularly hot day, you may not have much of an appetite, but you should eat something light anyway. Grilling isn’t always convenient, but if you have a shady spot in the yard and don’t mind flipping some burgers, it’s better than cooking indoors. Or, opt to enjoy a simple salad, reheat some leftovers in the microwave, or go out to eat.
Whether you have air conditioning or not, keeping your house comfortable in the summer is easier when you work with nature instead of against it. Letting a breeze in, keeping the sun out, and minimizing the use of electricity are all simple ways to stay cool.