Your AC is Broken Right Before the Hot Summer Months. What to Do Right Now
We’ve all had it happen. The first really hot day of summer hits, you go to turn on your air conditioning for some relief from the heat… and it doesn’t work. The months your cooling system has been idling without use over winter has allowed dust and dirt to build up or has created an issue that went unnoticed, leaving you to deal with the heat and humidity.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to take preventative steps in the spring to make sure your system is in good working condition. But if you end up finding out your AC is broken right before summer hits, here are some tips on how to manage.
Make sure it’s not an easy fix
If it seems like your AC isn’t working, sometimes the fix is as easy as opening the registers in your house. Check to make sure all of your registers are fully open and then take the same steps you would to prepare your system for summer, even if you already went through the process a few weeks before. Before starting, be sure to turn off your thermostat and turn off power to the condenser by switching off the circuit breaker. Then clean or change your filter if necessary and clean off the condenser coils outside. Turn the system back on and see if it’s working. Clogged condenser coils can lead to the compressor overheating and shutting down, while restricted airflow due to clogged filters or closed registers can cause the evaporator coil to ice up. If taking care of those problems doesn’t solve the issue, your system is likely in need of a more significant repair.
Call a licensed HVAC technician
If quick fixes and checks don’t solve the problem, the best way to get your air conditioning back up and running is to call an experienced HVAC technician to come assess the problem and perform the AC repair. At Paris Heating & Cooling, we pride ourselves on being able to quickly respond to calls about broken AC units in Rochester, NY. But sometimes during hot spells when many residents are dealing with broken cooling systems, technicians throughout the state can develop a backlog of calls. In the meantime, you can take some easy steps cool off.
Take steps to cool off and beat the heat
If you’re stuck waiting for an AC repair, whether for a few hours or few days, there are steps you can take to stay cool and beat the summer heat.
- Stay hydrated. One of the most important things you can do in the summer when you’re stuck without AC is to keep you and your family hydrated. You should drink lots of water and fruit juice while avoiding beverages like alcohol, coffee, and tea. Proper hydration will help you stay cooler and help keep you healthy in the heat.
- Turn on fans. Even if your AC is broken, you can still cool your house by using fans. Fans help circulate air throughout your home, and, although fans don’t actually cool the air, the moving air on your skin feels cooler because it helps with evaporation. Use your ceiling fans and set up any other fans you have to maximize air circulation.
- Stick to the ground floor. If possible, spend your time on the ground floor or in the basement of your house. Hot air rises, so the upper stories will be much hotter than the ground floor and basement. If the heat stays high at night, you can even move mattresses to lower floors to be able to sleep more comfortably.
- Close your windows during the day. Since the air typically cools at night, you should have your windows open while you sleep and rise early to close them. Shutting the windows early will help keep the cool air inside and block out humidity, which can significantly increase how hot you feel.
- Keep curtains closed. Closing the curtains during the day will help keep the sun from warming up your house even further. This is especially important on sides of your home that have direct sunlight.
- Avoid using hot appliances. If you can, prepare primarily cool food during the hot spell or use the microwave instead of the oven for heating food. Also avoid using the stove, hair dryers, curling irons or other appliances that produce heat.