Why do air conditioners seem to break down during the hottest days of the year? It must be Murphy’s law. There’s really no convenient time for your AC to give out, but during a heat wave, temperatures can climb dangerously high in a matter of hours.

You’ve accepted that until the repair person arrives, you’re stuck with a lack of air conditioning. What can you do in the meantime to make the heat more bearable? 

Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place. After all, we’re the heating and cooling experts! We’re going to tell you what to do to cool down during a heat wave:

How To Keep The House Comfortable

Your bedroom feels like a sauna. The kitchen is even worse. What can you do to stay cold when the heat is trapped inside your house? 

First, you need to prevent more heat from getting in. You’d be surprised at how much heat is let in by your windows. Draw the blinds and curtains on all the windows in your home. (Tip: This is also a great way to save on cooling costs when you’re out of the house!)

Unfortunately, you’ll need to reschedule the oven roasted chicken dinner that you had planned. Using the oven or stove will only make your home warmer. Try to order take-out or make foods that only need the microwave.

Next, you can create a temporary air conditioner using a fan and a bowl of ice water. Place the fan in the room you spend the most time in and aim it at a bowl of cold water. Stand in front of the fan and enjoy the cool air that blows your way!

You may also want to avoid using electronics that generate heat. If you’ve ever used your computer for a few hours, you may have noticed how much heat it emits. Try to stay off your TV or laptop while you wait for repairs. If you have any incandescent bulbs, keep them turned off; 90% of the energy they use generates heat!

Stay Cool

In a heat wave, high temperatures can get dangerous quickly. If you fall ill with heatstroke, you may need to be rushed to the hospital

Watch out for heatstroke symptoms, which include:

  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat or breathing
  • Intense sweating

The heat may be inevitable, but you can take measures to keep your body temperature down. To avoid heatstroke, be sure to practice the following:

  • Avoid dehydrating beverages. Some of us feel like zombies without our morning fix of coffee or tea. But in a heat wave, caffeine only contributes to dehydration. The same goes for alcohol and soda. Instead, stick to drinking water.
  • Use cold towels. If you are developing heatstroke, your skin may begin to feel dry and hot instead of sweaty. This is a sign of dehydration. Along with increasing your water intake, you can run a hand towel under cold water. Press the damp towel against parts of your skin that feel warm—like your face, neck, stomach, and back. Every so often, you can re-wet the towel so that it’s cold again.

Schedule Repairs ASAP!

While these solutions offer a temporary fix, the only way to address the root of your problem is to call for HVAC repairs. Contact Provincial Heating and Cooling today if you need help with your AC unit.