It’s mid-Summer in Arizona. Temperatures are soaring above 115 degrees each day without an end in sight. It’s “bake cookies in the backseat of your car” kind of hot. Your AC unit has been on full blast for the past few months. Heck, you don’t even remember when you turned it on. All of a sudden, your unit shudders to a halt. Uh oh. No worries, I’m sure turning it off and on will fix it. Nothing? Try to set the temperature a little warmer so it doesn’t get overworked. No? Let’s check if the power is on. Yes? But the unit still won’t turn on?
Try checking the air filter. When was the last time it was changed? A dirty filter can cause issues. You can also check the thermostat to see if it has a display. Some thermostats take batteries, so that could be an easy fix. And finally, be sure to check the breaker panel. Did the breaker trip and need to be reset?
If you’ve gone through this list and are still having issues, then you might have a bit of a problem.
Air conditioning emergencies are unfortunately too common here in the blazing southwest. In order to better prepare you and your family, we’ve put together a list of tips in case you find yourself in a bad spot and don’t know what to do.
Close All Blinds in the House
We know the sun can be unbearable during this time of year. It’s no secret that blocking the sun from coming into your home through windows and doors can slow the process of the inside heating up. During a non-emergency circumstance, doing this will also help reduce the cost of your energy bill. You can also install black-out curtains, which were designed to keep as much light as possible out of a room. Blinds hinder the light entering a room, but black-out curtains were made to limit ALL light coming into a room via the windows, which also results in blocking the heat from entering. These are a great investment if you are sensitive to light and have trouble sleeping as well!
Fans Will Become Your Best Friend
The easiest and probably most obvious first choice to cooling down air without the use of an air conditioner. Some of us are lucky and already have these installed in our ceilings. If not, there are quite a few other types of fans one can use either in a heat emergency or in everyday life. These include handheld fans, box fans, window fans, and pedestal fans. All are responsible for doing the same thing: circulating the air in a room. Your specific space will affect which type of fan you might prefer. You can also create a cross-breeze with a fan. A way to do this involves freezing a large, empty water bottle, putting a damp cloth over it, and setting it in front of your fan. This causes the fan breeze to become extra cool.
Subject to the time of year and just how hot it is, opening windows is also another great way of cooling down your home. If the temperature is over 100 degrees during the daytime, maybe skip opening during the day. We’d suggest keeping the windows open at night when that (slightly) cooler air comes in.
Stay on the First Floor
Most of us were probably taught in middle school science class that heat rises. This is true in homes and buildings as well. The second floor of your home will be warmer than your first floor, so if you are in the middle of a heatwave and your air conditioning breaks, we might suggest hanging out downstairs. Even the slightest temperature decrease can make all the difference when it comes to staying cool.
Keep Yourself and your Body Cool
This one is seemingly obvious. Utilize all your sources and keep yourself cool. Drink lots of water and eat cold meals. Dress appropriately in loose, light clothing. Take a few cold showers throughout the day. Happen to have a backyard pool? Might as well hop in! Keeping your body cool is ultimately more important than keeping the space you live in cool so prioritize this first!
Change Your Cooking Techniques
Turning your oven or stove on will, unsurprisingly, heat up your kitchen and potentially other surrounding rooms. We highly suggest maybe skipping cooking soup or making a delightful turkey dinner in the oven on a summer day in the Sonoran Desert. Perhaps you can treat yourself to eating a few meals out. As stated previously, if you are going to be eating from home, stick to “cooler” meals that don’t require heating up or baking. Spicy foods might initially cause you to sweat but in turn, will cool down your body temperature. Cold cuts, salad, fruit, cold noodles, avocado toast, and veggie wraps are all examples of cooler meals to eat on hot nights with no AC.
Hang Out Outdoors
Again, depending on just how hot it is outside, it still might be cooler to sit outdoors than inside your home. Sit in the shade on your porch, or pitch a patio umbrella out of the sun and enjoy any breeze Mother Nature sends your way. Sit under the shade of a tree and enjoy a cool glass of ice water. If you have outdoor outlets, you can also plug fans in to get the breeze blowing even more.
Find Somewhere to go With AC
Call up a friend or family member with air conditioning to see if they’d mind you hanging out for a bit. Head to a local café, restaurant, library, or mall to also access air conditioning.
Get A New AC Unit
If you need a new air conditioning system, you’ve come to the right place. At Larson, we pride ourselves on being 100% dedicated to serving you and your satisfaction. If you are ever in an air conditioning emergency please don’t hesitate to call us at (480) 428-0600 so we can get your home or business cooled as quickly as possible.