Cool Off Without AC: Strategies When Your Unit Takes a Break

You’ve just gotten the news; your AC unit needs to be replaced. What do you do? Let’s face it: Las Vegas isn’t just hot; it’s sweltering. While the heat makes spending the entire day in a cold shower sound appealing, certain outdoor activities such as swimming may provide some respite. However, the ensuing water bill from your shower marathon, much like the significant amount of money required for a new AC unit, doesn’t quite make it worth it. Hence, exploring other options, such as installing curtains or shades to block out the intense sunlight from the front of the house, can be a viable option to help control the temperature indoors. Of course, these aren’t suitable options for everyone, so further measures may be needed, such as investing in a ceiling fan or a dehumidifier to reduce humidity and optimize body temperature.

Finding ways to beat the heat in smothering temperatures is more important than ever since heatstroke and heat exhaustion can both be extremely dangerous. Ensuring proper circulation in your house by generating cross-ventilation, perhaps by leaving opposite doors in your house open, is one thing you could do to keep temperatures at bay. Another measure involves placing the fan right under the ceiling to stir the hot air that has risen and cooled the rooms down.

10 Ways to Cool Off Without AC

So while you wait for the technician to repair your air conditioning unit or install a new one, we have some constructive suggestions for activities that can help get the temperature inside to a more manageable level. These make use of items like a fan, a towel, and some surprisingly simple ideas such as popsicles, which can help save energy and money. If you can’t escape the sun, strategically place your shades to keep as much natural light out as possible.

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in. This can easily happen when your body is exposed to extreme heat and starts to sweat in overdrive to try to cool you down. If you don’t continually drink enough water to replace what your body sweats out, then dangerous dehydration will take over and make you sick. A refreshing mist from an evaporative cooler might also be a soothing respite, as can a strategically placed dehumidifier, aimed at regulating humidity.

The CDC recommends drinking around two cups of cold water just before you are exposed to extreme heat, and to continue drinking at least another glass of water several times per hour. Be careful to add in something like a sports drink to replenish the electrolytes that you’ll sweat out as your body regulates its temperature, which water doesn’t naturally contain.

2. Go ahead and get wet.

Struggling with the sweltering heat makes you dream of diving into a cool swimming pool. However, if swimming is off the table or if you’re not spending the day poolside, drape a cold, damp towel around your neck, position yourself under the ceiling fan, or try soaking your feet in a basin of cool water. Another simple, yet effective activity could be eating cold popsicles. Even if the effects are only temporary, remember, every little thing that keeps you cool for a while gives your system a break.

3. Circulate, darling!

You may not have air conditioning, but most people have access to a fan when indoors. With cooling options being limited, try positioning box fans in your window frames to instigate cross-ventilation and keep the air moving. This method promotes circulation and can create an effect similar to a refreshing breeze, thus aiding in managing the heat.

4. Close the blinds.

Sometimes the simplest answers really are the best. The Family Handyman reports that approximately 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and covering them up with curtains can keep out the sun’s harsh rays. For example, a basement, being more resistant to outdoor heat, can be a cooler spot to hang out. Also, moving hot clothes straight out of the dryer and onto cooler floors of the house can prevent additional heat from seeping into the rest of the house.

5. Strategize with windows.

We recommend going outside only during the cooler parts of the day, and otherwise staying in the shade. As soon as the sun rises, draw your curtains and shades to keep the sunlight out and keep your rooms cool. Open your windows at night and early in the morning to let the cool air in, then close them. Trapping cooler air in the house during the day will help your home’s insulation do its job better.

Also, let your appliances take a break. Things like the stove, coffeemaker, computer, and even your cable box can create a lot of unnecessary heat when on. In extreme situations, it may be worth it to turn machines off when not in use, saving both energy and money.

6. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages.

While nothing begs for a margarita more than the mercury rising, it’s best to hold off if you’re trying to stay cool. Both caffeine and alcohol act as a diuretic, thereby increasing the likelihood of dehydration.

7. Change the sheets.

Not only does a fresh set of laundered bedding make a room look more appealing, but it may also have the effect of cooling things down. That is if you’re using the right fabric. Textiles like fleece and flannel are optimum for insulation but can wreak havoc on the body’s temperature in the heat. Replace them with breathable materials, particularly cotton, to lessen the temperature. Pair with a buckwheat pillow for an added cool down. Buckwheat hulls naturally have air between them, so they won’t trap your body heat as a conventional pillow does.

8. Create an ice bowl air conditioner.

Fill a cooler or bowl with ice or ice packs and point a standing fan in its direction. This DIY evaporative cooler serves as an inexpensive alternative to commercial cooling units. The fan circulates the cold air generated by the cooler/bowl of ice, making you feel chill in no time.

9. Freeze your pillow.

Most people feel the brunt of the heat at night when trying to sleep. If you can brave the few minutes of extra chill, place your pillow into a small bag and leave it in the freezer for several hours before bedtime. Sleep with the cold pillow to stave off the heat.

10. Eat spicy foods.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, there’s a reason why spicy foods tend to dominate cultures closer to the equator. Eating food with an extra spicy bite induces perspiration, which is your body’s way of cooling down.

Beat the Heat

When you’re tired of do-it-yourself methods of lowering the temperature indoors, and your rights to a cooler environment seem compromised, it may be time to install an AC unit or have yours repaired. If so, give The Cooling Company a call at (702) 567-0707. Remember, the cost of a new unit will always be a worthwhile investment given the comfort and health benefits it brings. No matter the upfront cost, ensuring your comfort while protecting your health, should always be the front priority.