When you live in an area that has warm temperatures in the summer or all year, an air conditioner in your home can make life more comfortable. Unfortunately, you cannot always rely upon your air conditioner to cool your home. Your AC may break and you will need to stay cool on your own. Here are four ways to keep yourself cool in your home during a heat spell.
Hang a Wet Sheet in Your Window
When you can't rely on air conditioning to cool your home, your home's windows can help cool your home instead. All you need is a light-colored sheet and some tacks or a curtain rod to hang it from. Wet the sheet until it is saturated, then hang it in front of an open window. Any breeze that blows into your home, no matter how hot, will become cooled as it blows through the wet sheet.
Periodically check your sheet for any dryness. When it dries out, remove the sheet from your window, wet it once again and hang it back in the window. If you don't have a breeze coming from your window, turn on a box fan in the window and it will blow air through the wet sheet and into the room to cool it.
Turn Off Heat-Producing Appliances and Electronics
When you don't have a working air conditioner, you can keep your home cooler by not using your clothes dryer. String up a clothesline outside between two trees and hang your clothes on it to dry. Use the free heat outside from the sunshine and you will save on your electricity as well.
You can also unplug any electronics you aren't using in your home. Many home entertainment systems and home computers create a great deal of heat even when they are plugged in on stand-by and not being used. Plug these types of electronics into a power strip, then you can turn them off easily by pushing one button on the power strip.
Don't use the heat setting on your dishwasher to dry your dishes. As soon as your dishwasher is finished washing, let the dishes cool off inside, then open the door and let them air dry. You can even point one of your room fans onto the dishes to help them air dry quicker.
Block Southern and Western-Facing Windows
Windows that are on the southern and western sides of your home can let a great deal of heat into your home while the sun shines on them. Do anything you can to cover these windows during daylight hours and you can help keep your home's temperature down.
Install window blinds, hang light-blocking curtains, or apply a layer of foil or cardboard inside the window. Make sure any blinds, curtains or cardboard in your windows are light-colored so they reflect the light and heat away from your home. Dark-colored curtains, blinds, or cardboard will absorb heat, which will heat up your home's interior.
Use Ceiling Fans the Right Way
Ceiling fans are a great way to help cool the room by producing a light breeze. But, make sure you have the fans circulating in the correct direction to cool the room. In the summer, make sure the fan blades rotate counter-clockwise so the air gets pushed downward. Your ceiling fan should have a switch on its motor for you to control which way the blades rotate.
Also, make sure your fan's blades are set at an angle of at least 12 degrees for the blades to push the air. A ceiling fan with blades set at an angle less than 12 degrees will not create any air flow and is only decorative.
Use these four tips to help keep your house cool in the summer while you wait for a heating and cooling contractor to repair your a/c.