Serving Colorado, Denver and Surrounding Areas

How to Stay Cool When Your AC Is Broken

Woman with a broken AC sitting in front of fan to cool down

When your air conditioning unit fails, the discomfort of warm air filling your home can be more than just a nuisance; it can disrupt your daily living. But fear not! Even without a functioning AC, there are numerous clever ways to maintain cooler air indoors. 

Recognizing the Signs of AC Failure

Before your air conditioner kicks the bucket in the throes of summer, it typically sends out a few distress signals. Knowing what to look for can prepare you to act swiftly, potentially saving you from a complete breakdown. Watch out for: 

  • An increase in your home’s indoor temperature despite the AC running constantly
  • Strange noises coming from the air conditioning unit
  • Any leakage around the unit
  • The presence of warm or weak airflow
  • High humidity levels inside your home

By staying alert to these symptoms, you can catch and possibly rectify small problems before they evolve into larger, more expensive repairs.

Immediate Steps to Take When Your AC Stops Working

When your AC breaks, the first thing to do is check the most common sources of trouble. Make sure that the thermostat is set correctly and that it’s not simply a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker causing the issue. If these are in order, inspect your air conditioner’s filters; clogged or dirty filters can restrict airflow and impair the unit’s efficiency. Replacing a dirty filter can sometimes bring a non-functioning AC back to life.

If these quick fixes don’t restore your cool air, it’s time to call in the professionals from Squeak’s Plumbing Heating & Air. While waiting for an AC repair service in Denver, CO, try to minimize heat gain in your house by keeping blinds or curtains closed against direct sunlight. This will help keep the indoor temperature from rising too quickly and make the space more tolerable until your air conditioning can be repaired.

DIY Cooling Solutions

In the spirit of true DIY ingenuity, creating a homemade air conditioner can be both a fun project and an effective temporary solution to beat the heat. And it’s easy! All you have to do is place a bowl of ice cubes in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan will blow the cooler air around the room, mimicking a DIY air conditioning effect.

Another popular DIY method involves soaking sheets or towels in cold water and hanging them in front of open windows. This technique takes advantage of the evaporative cooling effect as the breeze passes through the wet fabric, drastically lowering the room’s temperature. 

These methods can provide temporary relief, giving you a break from the oppressive heat while you await a more permanent fix.

Use Fans Strategically

Fans don’t actually cool the air, but when used correctly, they can significantly increase your comfort level by creating a wind chill effect that helps dissipate your body heat. 

Position your fans in upper-level windows to push out hot air as heat rises. And place fans in lower, shaded areas of your home to pull in cooler air from outside. The goal is to set up a flow that continuously moves the warm air out and brings cooler air in.

Ceiling fans should be set to run counterclockwise during the summer, which pushes the cool air down where you can feel it. If you have box or oscillating fans, create a tunnel effect by aligning them in a path that directs the cool air across your main living areas. Experiment with different configurations to find the most effective setup for circulating cool air inside your home.

Create Cross Ventilation

Creating cross ventilation in your home is crucial for moving hot air out and inviting cooler air in, especially when your AC is broken. This can be achieved by opening windows on opposite sides of your home, which allows for a natural cross breeze. Only do this when the outdoor heat dies down!

Enhance this natural ventilation by strategically placing exhaust fans in windows or hallways to help pull hot air out of your home. This method is particularly effective at night when the outdoor temperature drops, making it easier to flush out the warm air accumulated during the day and replacing it with a fresher, cooler breeze.

Use Cold Compresses 

Using cold compresses and cooling cloths is an excellent way to reduce your core temperature quickly and efficiently. Soak a towel or cloth in cold water, wring it out, and apply it to key heat exchange areas like your neck, wrists, ankles, and behind your knees. This method can help you feel cooler by directly cooling your blood and lowering your overall body temperature.

For an enhanced cooling effect, place ice packs or ice cubes in a cloth and use them as a compress. You can also purchase commercially available cooling towels and pillows, which are designed to stay cool for hours and can be particularly helpful for nighttime use, helping you get a better sleep despite the heat.

Long-term Cooling Strategies Without AC

Beyond immediate, temporary fixes, consider long-term strategies to keep your home cool even without an active air conditioning system. 

  • Start by landscaping smartly; plant trees or shrubs to shade your AC unit and windows, which can reduce indoor temperatures by blocking direct sunlight. 
  • Painting your home a lighter color will reflect rather than absorb heat, keeping indoor spaces naturally cooler.
  • Upgrade your appliances to energy-efficient models that generate less heat during operation. Opt for LED light bulbs, which emit less heat than traditional bulbs, and invest in energy-efficient cooking appliances that won’t turn your kitchen into a sauna every time you need to cook a meal.

Improve Your Home’s Insulation

Proper insulation is key to maintaining cool air inside and keeping hot air out. Check the insulation in your walls, attic, and floors. Upgrading or replacing old insulation can prevent heat from seeping in, which is especially crucial in older homes that might not be as well-sealed. This improvement not only helps during summer but also keeps your home warm in winter, making it a wise investment for year-round comfort.

Make sure that all seals around windows and doors are tight to prevent cool air leaks. Using weather stripping or caulking to seal these leaks is an inexpensive way to improve your home’s thermal efficiency. Additionally, consider installing thermal or blackout curtains as they can dramatically reduce heat gain from sunlight and help maintain lower indoor temperatures without over-relying on mechanical cooling.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future AC Breakdowns

Regular maintenance is crucial to preventing future breakdowns. Schedule annual air conditioner maintenance in Denver, CO with a professional service like Squeak’s Plumbing Heating & Air to ensure your system is in top shape. These check-ups typically include:

  • Cleaning the coils
  • Checking the coolant levels
  • Testing the system’s performance
  • And more!

Make it a routine to check and replace your AC filters every few months or more frequently if you have pets or a dusty environment. A clean filter improves the overall air quality in your home. Keep the area around your AC unit clear of debris and vegetation to ensure adequate airflow and prevent overheating.

Get Your Air Conditioner Up and Running With Squeak’s!

Dealing with a broken air conditioner during the peak of summer can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can keep your home cool and comfortable until repairs can be made. From simple DIY hacks to more involved home improvements, there are numerous ways to combat the heat. Remember, if your AC unit breaks down, it’s not the end of the world. Implement these strategies to maintain a cool environment, and don’t forget to contact Squeak’s Plumbing Heating & Air for reliable, professional AC repair in Denver, CO.

Feeling overwhelmed by the heat? Don’t sweat it! Contact Squeak’s Plumbing Heating & Air today to schedule a service appointment. Stay cool, and let us take care of the rest!

Woman with a broken AC sitting in front of fan to cool down

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