15 Ways to Stay Cool When Your AC is Broken

water spray cooling on a child

Feeling the heat and sweating bullets because your trusty AC unit has decided to go on vacation when you need it the most? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! We know how unbearable those scorching summer days can be without the cool breeze of conditioned air. In this article, we’ll show you 15 clever and budget-friendly ways to keep cool when your AC is broken. 

Cold washcloths, iced drinks, frozen delights–– let’s explore these tried-and-true methods and ensure you stay well even in the hottest circumstances. Get ready to chill!

15 Ways to Stay Cool When Your AC is Broken

Summer’s sizzling temperatures can turn your day into a hot and uncomfortable ordeal, especially when your AC is nowhere in sight. But don’t sweat it! We have a list of 15 ingenious tips to help you beat the heat and stay cool when your AC needs repair.

1. Shade for Serenity

When the mercury rises on those scorching hot days, and your air conditioning unit decides to take a hiatus, the first line of defense against the relentless sun’s rays is to avoid open windows and block out as much light as possible. Maintaining your house in cool darkness during the day can decrease indoor temperature. 

It’s as simple as drawing your blinds, blackout curtains, or any other window coverings throughout your home. In addition to that, remember to turn off lamps and other artificial sources of light.

2. Sip Your Way to Cool Comfort

lemon infused cold water in a glass
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When the AC system decides to take a vacation, staying cool starts from within. Ensuring that you remain hydrated is vital in battling the heat. In fact, you should up your liquid intake and sip on refreshing beverages even more than usual. 

Reach for icy cold drinks like water, herbal teas, or even homemade fruit-infused water to help regulate your body temperature. Dehydration can make the heat feel even more oppressive, so keep a cool drink within arm’s reach and replenish your fluids regularly. Hydration is your ticket to staying comfortably cool on those sweltering days when your AC is on the fritz.

3. The Cool Eating Strategy

Another effective strategy to beat the heat is to adjust your eating habits. Decide to eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than indulging in large, hot dishes that can send your internal temperature soaring. 

Large meals can trigger your body’s metabolic heat production, making you feel even hotter. Instead, focus on light, cool, and hydrating foods like salads, fruits, and chilled soups. By doing so, you not only keep your stomach satisfied but also help regulate your body temperature, ensuring you stay cooler even when the weather is anything but.

4. Chilling Out with Frozen Delights

bowl full of vanilla ice cream
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When the heatwave strikes and your AC is on the blink, there’s no better time to indulge in a refreshing, cold treat. Consider this your license to savor a bowl of velvety ice cream or a tangy serving of frozen yogurt. These frozen delights not only taste heavenly but can also provide a temporary respite from the relentless heat. 

However, if you’re looking for an even quicker cool-down fix, simply chewing on an ice cube can do the trick. The cold sensation against your palate can work wonders to lower your body temperature and bring much-needed relief.

5. Cooling Pulse Points with Cold Comfort

When your AC leaves you high and dry in the sweltering heat, there’s a simple and effective way to regain your cool composure. Dousing washcloths in cool water and strategically placing them on pulse points around your neck and wrists can be a game-changer. 

This technique is a science-backed method to help regulate your body temperature. By targeting these pulse points, you’re actively mediating your blood flow and driving your pulse rate down. A racing pulse is often a telltale sign that you’re beginning to overheat, so nip the problem in the bud with these cold compresses or ice packs. 

6. A Soothing Ice Bath for Your Feet

bucket of ice in the bath room
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When the mercury rises, an ice bath for your feet is one of the most refreshing tricks up your sleeve. It’s a simple yet remarkably effective way to bring your body temperature down in no time.

Here’s how to do it: Fill a basin or bucket with cold water and add some ice cubes. Then, immerse your feet. The blood vessels in your feet are close to the skin’s surface, making them excellent conductors for cooling your entire body.

7. Beat the Heat Beyond Your Four Walls

Finding cool activities outside your home can be a lifesaver on scorching days. Whether it’s a swim at the local pool, a leisurely paddle in a nearby lake, or even a drive in your car with the AC cranked up, there are numerous ways to escape the oppressive indoor heat.

If venturing out isn’t an option, seek refuge in places with working air conditioning systems, like restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, and public libraries. Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family who might have a comfortable, air-conditioned space to offer.

8. Rejuvenate with a Refreshing Cold Bath or Shower

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When the heatwave strikes, there’s no better way to cool down quickly than by taking a revitalizing cold bath or shower. It’s a time-tested remedy that offers instant relief and can make even the hottest days more bearable.

This simple yet effective cooling method is a go-to solution for staying comfortable when your AC is on vacation.

9. Embrace the Night Breeze for Natural Cooling

When the daytime sun feels relentless, your best friend might just be the cool, soothing night air temperature. One smart strategy to beat the heat is to open your windows, but here’s the catch: do it only at night.

As the sun sets, there’s a gradual drop in temperature that can work wonders in keeping your home cool. Opening your windows in the evening creates a pathway for the accumulated hot air of the day to escape while welcoming the refreshing cooler air of the night inside.

10. Keep the Kitchen Cool

man preparing barbecue on a grill
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When the sweltering heat invades your home and your AC breaks, it’s time to rethink your approach to mealtime. One of the most effective ways to stay cool indoors is to avoid cooking inside altogether.

Instead, consider firing up the grill for outdoor cooking adventures or embrace a menu of refreshing, no-cook dishes. Ovens and stovetops are notorious heat generators, and their use can make your home feel even hotter. Until your AC is back in action, treat yourself to the simplicity of cold meals or indulge in takeout or delivery services.

11. Spray Yourself with Cooling Waters

When the hot weather feels unbearable, a quick and refreshing solution is within arm’s reach: give yourself a refreshing spray-down with cold water.

Simply fill a spray bottle with cold water and keep it in the refrigerator for an extra chilling effect. Give yourself a few spritzes on your face and body whenever the heat becomes overwhelming. The sensation of cool water against your skin will provide instant relief and help lower your body temperature, making you feel more comfortable in an instant.

12. Opt for Cotton Sheets at Night

cotton bed sheet on a surface
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When the sun sets, and you’re facing a warm, AC-less night, your choice of bedding can make a big difference in ensuring a good night’s sleep. To stay comfortably cool, make sure you’re using cotton sheets.

Cotton is renowned for its breathability and cooling properties. It’s much cooler to the touch compared to polyester and most other bedding materials, which can feel stifling on hot nights. Cotton sheets promote better airflow and wick away moisture, helping you stay cool and sweat less as you rest.

13. Unplug Your Electronics

When the heat outside has you searching for every possible way to stay cool, here’s a tip that helps with comfort and your electric bills: unplug where you can.

It might come as a surprise, but electrical devices emit background heat even when turned off. This added heat can contribute to the overall warmth inside your home. Plus, keeping these devices plugged in means they’re still consuming energy, which you’ll end up paying for.

Take a moment to switch off and unplug electronics and appliances that you’re not using. Not only will this help reduce the heat they generate, but it’ll also save you money on your energy bill.

14. Dress for Cool Success

When the summer heat is relentless, your choice of clothing can significantly impact your comfort level. To keep cool, it’s essential to don loose, lightweight clothes.

Opt for breathable cotton and linen fabrics that allow for better air circulation around your body. Loose-fitting attire not only promotes better ventilation but also reduces the amount of heat trapped against your skin.

15. A Refreshing Mane Strategy

Keeping your hair wet is a simple and effective way to cool down. Dampening your hair with cool water, whether it’s through a quick splash or a gentle spritz, can provide instant relief. As the water evaporates from your hair, it creates a cooling effect, lowering your body temperature.

When the summer sun beats down and the mercury soars, it’s important to be careful of the dangerous health risks of extreme heat. 

Heat-related illnesses can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening conditions. 

Common symptoms of a heat stroke include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Hot and dry skin
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Passing out

These signs are your body’s way of telling you it’s struggling to cope with the excessive heat. Heat-related illnesses can affect anyone, but they are particularly risky for young children, the elderly, and individuals with certain medical conditions. 

To stay safe during scorching weather, it’s crucial to stay hydrated, seek shade, and avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, taking them seriously and seeking medical attention to prevent more severe complications is essential.

FAQ About Ways to Stay Cool When Your AC is Broken

What is a portable air conditioner?

A portable air conditioner offers a practical and budget-friendly solution for cooling a room in the sweltering summer. Its operation involves extracting warm air from the room, cooling it, and subsequently circulating the chilled air back into the living space.

Is an air cooler better than a portable air conditioner?

An air conditioner recirculates the room’s internal air repeatedly. In contrast, an air cooler draws in fresh outdoor air and cools it down. Additionally, unlike an air conditioner, an air cooler doesn’t overly dry the air. Due to its operational differences, an air cooler provides superior air quality for your living space.

Does putting ice behind a fan make the air cooler?

Creating this swamp cooler is good advice if you’re looking for relief from the heat. You have to put a bowl of ice in front of a fan (not behind) to cool the air, and there you have it, your own energy-efficient cold air.

Where to Find Help When Your AC is Broken

When your AC decides to take a vacation during the scorching summer days, there are numerous creative and effective ways to stay cool and comfortable without it. From simple tricks, like blocking light and wearing lightweight clothing, to more innovative solutions, like using cold water sprays and enjoying cold treats, you have an arsenal of strategies at your disposal. 

However, if your AC problem persists or becomes too complex to handle on your own, remember that help is just a few clicks away. Don’t hesitate to contact professional HVAC experts near you who can diagnose and resolve the issue, ensuring your cooling system is up and running again to enjoy a cool indoor environment.

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Cecilia Acevedo

Cecilia is your home expert with a knack for making spaces both comfortable and efficient. Beyond her skill in transforming homes, Cecilia has a specialized focus on HVAC systems. She knows the ins and outs of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, ensuring your home is always at the perfect temperature.