It never fails that air conditioners break down when the heat is most intense and HVAC companies are the busiest. You may be able to fix a couple of minor problems fairly easily and get your unit running again. Consider the two problems you can fix yourself and some creative ways to keep cool while you wait for an AC repair.
Two Easy Fixes
The issue could be your system’s air filter if a) it turns on and you don’t feel air coming from the vents or b) if it’s short cycling. Check your filter and change it if you see visible dirt on its surface, usually every 30 to 90 days for 1- and 2-inch filters.
If the unit doesn’t turn on at all, check your thermostat’s settings. Start by making sure that the switch is turned to “Cool.” Next, thermostats over 10 to 15 years may not work properly, registering inaccurate temperatures. You may simply need a new thermostat to get your system running properly again.
If you check these two items and it doesn’t fix your problem, call a professional to troubleshoot the problem. Attempting any other DIY fixes may cause further damage, let alone void your unit’s factory warranty. In the meantime, try some of these options to keep your cool.
Make Use of Your Ceiling Fans
Most people have heard about how air movement can make the air temperature feel cooler, known as the wind chill effect. This is the premise used by ceiling fans and why they are a great option for keeping cool when your AC is out. In fact, they may make the air feel up to 8 degrees cooler. To get the proper effect, make sure the blades are spinning counterclockwise.
Cover Your Windows
Sunlight coming in through your windows cause what’s known as solar thermal heating. The easy way to combat this throughout the summer is to keep your blinds or curtains shut when the sun is directly shining on them. Pay particular attention to the south and westerly-facing windows, which allow in the lightest and heat.
Use Some Ice
Ice can provide a couple of ways to keep you cool when your AC is out. First, consider using ice packs on your pulse points to help cool you down. These include your inner elbows, the back of your neck, the back of your knees, and on your wrist.
Second, put some ice in a bowl and set it on a table in front of a fan. While this won’t cool your entire home, it certainly can make you more comfortable, especially if you sit directly in the airflow.
Take a Cold Shower or Bath
While you may not bathe several times a day, taking a cool shower or bath can provide some relief. To maximize the benefit of the shower, let your body slowly dry afterward rather than toweling off completely. This increases the evaporative effect, which provides additional cooling to your body.
While your AC is out, you’ll likely sweat more, which puts you at greater risk of dehydration. Plan to increase your water intake to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe while your AC isn’t working. Add some ice to your water to help cool you off as you hydrate, but be careful giving ice water to pets.
Find Cooler Spaces
During the hottest weather, you may need to find a cooler place to spend some time to stay safe. If you don’t want to visit an area business, check out the Phoenix area Heat Relief Network. Aside from that, you may find relief from one of these:
- Shopping mall like Kierland Commons
- Coffee shop
- A restaurant
- Big box store
- Public library
Fixing a Broken AC
Don’t ignore what seems like a small problem with your air conditioning. It won’t fix itself and will eventually get worse with more expensive repairs. Keep in mind that you may have to wait, especially if your system breaks down when the heat is most intense.
Since our company started in 2000, people around Phoenix have turned to Brisk Air to keep them comfortable and safe. Our expert technicians provide heating and air conditioning repair, maintenance and repair together with indoor air quality solutions.
Call to schedule your AC repair with one of our trusted technicians.