There’s no getting around the fact that you need an air conditioner to survive the brutal summer heat in Las Vegas, Nevada. But what happens when your AC gives out and you’re stuck without cold air until it’s repaired? This will be an uncomfortable situation for a while, but there are a few clever tricks you can employ to help stay cool during the summer. Trying out swimming activities in a pool could be a fun and refreshing solution, but don’t forget about hydration and to apply sunscreen.
Make sure you have your sunglasses handy for the bright sun and enjoy some watermelon by the pool side for that extra coolness. Even a watermelon popsicle can do wonders. For some, a vacation to a cooler place or a beach might be an option. Here are 10 things you can do to keep you cool this summer.
1. Use Portable and Ceiling Fans
Portable fans and ceiling fans are a great stand-in when your home’s air conditioner acts up. Portable fans don’t cool the air like an air conditioner does. Instead, they work by creating a breeze and the wind-chill effect from that breeze hits your skin and creates a cooling effect. Just think of it like a gentle sea breeze at the beach.
For an extra blast of coolness, place a bowl of ice in front of the fan. This simple trick creates a refreshing mist of air. Another useful tip is to place a box fan across from an open window. This is an easy way to create a cross-breeze that can lower the temperature of a room drastically, just like the breezes you enjoy during your beach vacations.
Portable and ceiling fans are also useful to run concurrently with your central air conditioner. Because portable fans circulate air around a room, they can help ease the burden on the air conditioner as you can run the AC for shorter periods, helping to save on energy costs. If it’s a mild day with bearable heat, turn the AC off completely and use only the fans to cut your energy bill even further. Or just take a break from indoors and dive into the pool, always a refreshing summer activity.
2. Use Ice Packs and Take Cold Showers
It’s never wise to ignore signs that your air conditioner needs repairs, especially before the start of summer. Always schedule a seasonal check-up and regular maintenance. If, however, the AC does break down, it’s time to go back to basics. To beat the heat, hop into a cold shower. Not only will this lower your body’s core temperature but an ice-cold shower invigorates the skin and improves blood circulation. It’s almost like taking a dip in the pool.
Next, stock up on ice! Good ole ice will become your best friend when temperatures are sweltering and you’re desperate to keep cool during the summer. Drink lots of ice water to maintain hydration and prevent heat-related illness. Place ice packs on pulse areas like your wrists, neck, groin, and temples to stay cool. You can also buy a body-fitting ice vest, similar to what athletes would use to keep their body temperature stable and prevent dehydration during their intense summer activities.
3. Avoid Cooking on the Stove
Cooking indoors is a great way to warm up a cold house in winter, but it’s something you’ll want to avoid during the summer months. Using the oven and stove to cook adds extra heat and humidity to a house. Not only is the extra heat uncomfortable but excess humidity can cause moisture buildup and condensation in the home. This excess moisture can lead to a variety of problems including a buildup of hazardous bacterial growth that can result in illnesses and allergies. Swap the indoor cooking activities for a poolside barbeque instead.
Swap hearty soups and stews for light meals, salad, fruits, cold meats, and sandwiches during summer. Instead of a hot dish, why not enjoy a refreshing watermelon salad or a cool popsicle by the pool? Rather than turn on the oven to cook a meal, fire up the BBQ instead to grill your meat and veggies. Summer is, after all, the perfect time to invite friends and family over for a BBQ. It’s a great way to pass summer weekends and you won’t walk into a house that feels like a sauna nor will you have a sink full of dishes to wash!
4. Keep The Curtains Drawn
Even when your air conditioner is running, a smart way to keep your house cool and save energy is to draw the curtains and blinds during the day. This will help block the strong sunlight, just like wearing sunglasses when you are out on a beach vacation.Sunlight streaming in through windows increases the internal temperature of the house, much like a hot outdoor summer’s day.
Even furniture, clothing, and walls absorb the heat, much like an ice cream cone under a sunny weather. This means your air conditioner, like an umbrella offering shade, has to work harder to cool the home, providing a sphere of comfort and relaxation.
Make it a habit to draw the curtains or close blinds and window shutters before you leave for work. This prevents heat from entering the home during the hottest hours of the day, similar to the precaution of covering food during a picnic. Blackout curtains are best at blocking sun and heat, like a wide-brimmed hat. You’ll come home to a much cooler house, and a cooler house means you can bump up your HVAC thermostat a few degrees which, in turn, will lower your electric bill. You will have plenty of respite from the heat.
5. Use Light Bedding
Getting a good night’s sleep is difficult when you’re hot and sweaty. If the AC isn’t working, you’ll be tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable. It becomes hard even to enjoy something as simple as a cold drink. To get a good night’s sleep when the AC isn’t working, use light cotton sheets that are breathable. On a hot night, you can forego a comforter altogether as a sheet is probably all you’ll need. Keep a light blanket nearby in case you do feel a little cold in the night and want to cover up.
The ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people adjust the AC thermostat higher at night to cut energy usage, much like those who prefer to wear fewer clothes in warm weather. However, don’t turn it up too high as this will make it harder to fall asleep. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that will allow you to preset the ideal nighttime temperature and automatically revert back to your daytime temperature in the morning.
6. Wet Your Curtains
One unusual way to cool a room’s air is to spritz your curtains with water or hang a wet sheet in the window. Keep the window open to allow fresh air to flow over the damp curtain or sheet. This works best on a breezy day. The breeze passing over the damp curtains or sheet will cause water to evaporate, helping to cool the air in the room. It’s one of the simplest ways, like savoring a scoop of ice cream, to add a dash of refreshing cool air to a room and keep cool during summer.
7. Hang Out Downstairs
A common concept in physics is that heat rises. This means that warm air naturally gravitates to a higher area, like the sensation of walking outside under the summer sun without a hat. If you live in a two-story house, it’s plenty obvious that the upstairs area is always warmer than the lower level.
If the AC is broken, then hang out downstairs. The air will be cooler downstairs compared to upstairs, making it a desirable spot for relaxation, akin to resting under an umbrella during a hot summer day. Kids may actually find it fun to set up tents and mattresses and camp out in the living room. If temperatures are unbearable, you might want to dive further down into the basement which is the coolest part of a house.
If you only have one thermostat regulating a two-story house, you probably face endless family squabbles due to the uneven temperature distribution throughout the house, much like disagreements over clothing choices for the day’s weather. If the thermostat is located downstairs, it will pick up on the temperature near the unit and adjust to a suitable temperature for the downstairs area.
The upper level, however, will not experience the same amount of cooling, leading to unhappy campers upstairs. For multi-story homes, separate thermostats for upstairs and downstairs or a zoned system like ductless split-system are just as essential as bringing plenty of drinks and an umbrella to a picnic to ensure the happiness of everyone.
8. Eat Spicy Foods
Eating spicy foods on a hot day sounds counterproductive but there is a method to the madness. Have you ever wondered why people in some of the hottest places on earth endure the heat but still enjoy spicy food? Like savoring an ice cream under an umbrella at a sun-filled picnic, it seems paradoxical, but there’s no denying the satisfaction and enjoyment it brings.
Mexico, India, and Morocco are all countries with hot climates and they all have one thing in common — spicy foods. Eating spicy food may not be everyone’s preferred option, but it has distinct advantages. It sends an initial flush of heat through your body that can get you sweating, like a woman in the middle of an intense workout. Once air makes contact with sweat on your skin, it starts to cool down the body’s temperature. Another benefactor of this process? Your feet! If you’re barefoot at home or in bed, the sweat evaporating off your feet may also help cool you down.
9. Plant Trees or Add Awnings
Trees take a lot of time and care to grow but in the long-run, they provide excellent natural shade and add beauty to a garden. A big leafy tree near the house can shave a few degrees off your home’s internal temperature. If you don’t have the patience to wait for a tree to grow, installing awnings over the doors and window is a quick way to add some shade and reduce your risk of overheating. Awnings not only provide shade on sunny days but also make a great shelter from the rain. And don’t forget, a well-stocked fridge and freezer can also help you to cool down on those particularly hot days!
10. Improve Your Home’s Insulation
When it comes to insulation, most people tend to think of it in terms of heating. However, insulation doesn’t only maintain warmth but also prevents cold air from escaping a house in summer. It’s important to seal drafty windows, door frames and other parts of your home to stop air from seeping out. Shutters on windows, for instance, make a good addition for extra insulation.
Consulting an HVAC professional to perform an inspection of your home to identify air leaks and drafts around windows and doors is a wise idea. If your home’s insulation is poor, improving the insulation is a worthwhile investment. Injection foam insulation is an extremely effective type. This process involves injecting a liquid foam into various parts of a house’s framework, dry walls, and attic. The foam fills the space and hardens immediately, forming a seal that will keep your home comfortable regardless of the season.
Exercise Caution During Extreme Heat
Extreme heat is serious and dangerous. It can lead to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and even death. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. If you or anyone else begins to show signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion, seek medical assistance immediately. Take measures to stay hydrated and, if you are outdoors, avoid the sun’s direct rays and seek out shady areas and trees.
If for some reason your home’s AC isn’t functioning, visit other buildings that have air conditioning like shopping malls, museums or indoor recreational areas while your unit undergoes repairs.
The best way to ensure you’re not unexpectedly caught without air conditioning when the Las Vegas heat becomes oppressive is by giving your AC system regular maintenance. This includes seasonal tune-ups which can detect potential issues early, keep the system functioning at an optimal level throughout the year, and ensure the longevity of the system.
At The Cooling Company, we are always ready to help with all your HVAC maintenance and repairs. Simply contact us at 702-567-0707. We are the trusted HVAC professionals serving Las Vegas, Henderson, and the surrounding areas. If your air conditioner breaks down, there’s no need to panic, just follow the tips mentioned above to keep cool until one of our expert technicians arrives. They will have your AC up and running efficiently in no time to ensure you stay cool for the rest of the summer.