The last thing any Tampa Bay local wants in the middle of July is for their HVAC to go out. Unfortunately, the high heat presents the highest risk of your AC breaking down due to high usage – what gives?
When your AC doesn’t get a break for months, a single component failing can bring the whole cooling process to a screeching halt. In this case, the only viable action is to call a professional HVAC technician.
While you wait for their arrival, follow these tips to stay as comfortable as possible.
Is Overheating Dangerous?
Although you may be tempted to toughen up and bear it, too much heat can cause serious health effects. Children, the elderly, and those with certain medical conditions are especially at risk.
The first signs of heat illness are irritability and discomfort. However, it can progress into dangerous hyperthermia that requires medical attention. This is why it’s essential to stay cool when your AC goes out.
1. Turn on All of the Fans
Fans of all kinds, from ceiling fans to portable devices, circulate the air in your home, which helps sweat evaporate from your skin. Although they won’t technically cool your home, fans definitely make the heat more bearable. The wind-chill effect can make your space feel several degrees cooler.
2. Plug in a Dehumidifier
A good fan plus a dehumidifier will significantly increase the cooling effect, especially in our high-humidity state!
3. Shade Your Windows and Close Your Doors
Heat and humidity can creep in through these openings. We think every Floridian should invest in black-out curtains or blinds, not just for these circumstances but to help you save money on utilities year-round. Keep doors to the outside closed, including your refrigerator door, so you’re not putting unnecessary pressure on that system. No refrigerator + no AC is not a happy combo.
4. Stay Hydrated
The more hydrated you are, the more your body can tolerate the heat. Fruits, such as melon, also contain electrolytes that help your body get hydrated.
5. Avoid Heat-Generating Appliances
If able, don’t run heavy-duty appliances, such as your oven, stove, or dryer, while your AC is down. These can increase the heat inside your home. Opt for an appliance such as:
- The microwave
- A slow cooker
- An Instant Pot
6. Use a Portable AC Unit
Window units or portable AC units aren’t the most efficient, but they can do a great job of keeping your space cool and comfortable. We suggest picking one room to focus your efforts on and closing off the doors.
7. Use the Right Clothing & Bedding Materials
Light-colored, loose, moisture-wicking fabrics retain minimal heat. You can even purchase cooling bed sheets, such as linen. These materials are unbeatable luxuries even when the AC is working!
Related > What to Do When Your AC Goes Out
Did Your AC Go Out?
If your AC system suddenly stopped doing its job, it’s time to call a reliable HVAC technician. Our team will quickly show up to the scene prepared to diagnose and solve the problem.
Fortunately, your wait won’t be long with our quick-response team. But in the meantime, be sure to follow our guide to stay cool. Worst case scenario, if the heat is too unbearable, get out of the house and go to an air-conditioned location. The dangers of heat illness are never worth it!