Beating The Heat: Strategies To Avoid Heat Exhaustion & Stay Cool When Your AC Fails

woman feeling warm and wiping sweat on forehead due to summer heat

As summer sets in, awareness of the common health risks associated with rising temperatures becomes crucial. In the United States, around 1,300 deaths annually are attributed to heat-related conditions, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sunburns. This underscores the importance of keeping our surroundings cool during the hottest days.

Ensuring your HVAC system is well-prepared protects you from overheating risks and guarantees a safer, more comfortable summer. However, there may be instances when an air conditioner fails, plunging your home into uncomfortable heat and humidity at the height of summer. In this article by Hart Home Comfort, we will explore various tactics to remain cool should your air conditioning cease to function.

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How To Keep Cool During an Air Conditioner Breakdown

kids playing with water hose and water gun to stay cool under the summer heat due to AC breakdown

Experiencing a breakdown of your air conditioner during the peak of summer is not only discomfort—it can also pose serious health risks. Routine maintenance of your air conditioning unit can avoid many problems. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to have effective cooling strategies ready when the AC is not working.

This section outlines essential techniques to alleviate heat discomfort and safeguard your health when facing air conditioner downtimes. It emphasizes the significance of regular air conditioner tune-ups to minimize the likelihood of unexpected failures.

Stay cool and comfortable all summer long. Contact Hart Home Comfort for expert HVAC services today!

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Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Failures

kids playing with water hose and water gun to stay cool under the summer heat

The US Department of Energy advises setting your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer for maximum efficiency. Despite this, disruptions can still occur in your air conditioning system. For example, summer storms might cause power outages that shut down your AC unless a backup power supply is available.

Other frequent causes include a lack of regular HVAC maintenance, high operational demands, aging air conditioning systems, or cooling units not correctly sized for the space. Arrange for an annual air conditioner tune-up each spring to prevent cooling system issues before the summer heat peaks. Even with these measures, breakdowns can happen, exposing you and your family to the risks of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The following guidelines provide practical tips to help you stay cool and safe. Keep reading to learn how to cope better, especially if your air conditioner is not performing optimally or has stopped working.

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If your air conditioner fails, contacting a professional HVAC service like Hart Home Comfort immediately is essential. Experienced technicians can swiftly diagnose and fix the issue, potentially having your system operational within a few hours, depending on the complexity of the problem. Nevertheless, more extensive repairs might take longer, especially if parts need ordering or a complete system replacement.

While waiting for repairs, keeping the environment cool for you and your pets is vital. Employ alternative methods to cool down to safeguard against the dangers of heat stress until your air conditioner is fully functional.

Don’t let a broken air conditioner unit ruin your summer. Reach out to Hart Home Comfort for prompt repairs and reliable service. Call now!

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Strategic Use of Cooling Fans

stand fan by the glass door

Strategically placing fans can effectively control indoor temperatures during the summer, mainly when air conditioning is unavailable. Positioning fans near windows at night can draw cooler external air into your home, boosting the natural cooling effect.

In daylight hours, arrange fans inside your home to establish a cross breeze by setting them opposite each other, which ensures a steady flow of air. This approach helps move the cooler air collected at night throughout your home, evenly distributing it across your living areas.

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Take Cold Showers for Quick Cooling

During the hot summer, cold showers can offer immediate and effective relief from the heat. This technique quickly reduces your body’s internal temperature and provides a refreshing respite from the oppressive warmth. Taking multiple cold showers throughout the day cools you down and significantly improves your comfort and overall well-being in the heat.

Seek Refuge in Cooler Lower Levels

In the summer, heat rises within a home, making upper levels near the roof hotter as warm air accumulates. To remain cool and comfortable, it is wise to spend more time in your house’s cooler ground-level or basement areas, as they are naturally shielded from the highest temperatures.

Hydrate to Combat Heat-Related Illnesses

woman holding bottled water depicting staying hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion

Staying hydrated is essential for dealing with the summer heat. As temperatures climb, your body works harder to cool itself through perspiration, resulting in considerable water loss. Experts at Pennsylvania State University highlight the importance of replenishing these fluids to avoid the risks associated with dehydration.

According to Harvard Medical School, drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is crucial to maintaining proper hydration. Adequate hydration is key in preventing severe conditions like heatstroke and heat exhaustion, which can arise if the body is overheated for extended periods.

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Reduce Indoor Heat by Limiting Appliance Use

frying sausages outdoors using griller to reduce indoor heat

Keeping your home cooler in the summer, mainly when your air conditioner is down, involves minimizing the use of heat-generating appliances. Appliances such as ovens, stoves, toasters, dryers, washers, vacuum cleaners, and computers can significantly increase indoor temperatures.

Although these devices are often crucial in colder months, their heat output becomes problematic during warm spells, significantly when your cooling system is compromised. By avoiding their use, you can significantly decrease the heat buildup inside your home, helping to keep indoor temperatures more manageable.

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Utilize Indoor Plants for Natural Cooling

Introducing indoor plants into your home can naturally help cool the air. Plants like areca palm, snake plant, and aloe vera release moisture through a process called transpiration, effectively lowering the temperature indoors. Strategically place these plants around your home to optimize their cooling benefits. In addition to cooling, they also improve the aesthetics of your space and purify the air, contributing to a fresher and more comfortable indoor environment.

Strategic Ventilation by Managing Windows

woman opening window during the day to let air circulate

Effective home cooling in the summer can be achieved by capitalizing on the natural temperature differences between day and night. As per the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), temperatures typically fall at night, even during summer.

Make the most of this by opening your windows in the evening to let in the cooler air, helping to circulate it throughout your home. Conversely, keep your windows closed during the day, particularly on the western side, to block out the hotter air and prevent the sun’s rays from raising indoor temperatures.

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Sun Blocking Techniques for Cooler Interiors

To counteract the warming effect of the sun’s rays, mainly through windows facing the sun, merely closing them isn’t enough. It’s crucial to prevent sunlight from entering and heating your space. Close curtains and blinds, which can substantially block and absorb solar radiation, to improve your home’s cooling efficiency. For an added layer of protection, applying tin foil over your windows can serve as an effective reflector, diverting sunlight away and helping maintain cooler indoor temperatures during the peak of summer heat.

Selecting the Proper Attire for Summer Heat

woman smiling while choosing clothes to wear

Choosing the right clothing for summer goes beyond just wearing less. According to National Public Radio, more exposed skin can lead to quicker water loss due to heightened evaporation. Opt for garments made from natural fibers such as linen or cotton. These materials are excellent for regulating body temperature and maintaining hydration because they absorb sweat and reduce evaporation rates, helping you stay hydrated for longer. On the other hand, it’s best to avoid tight clothing made from synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester, which can trap heat and raise your body temperature.


If your air conditioner breaks down during the warmer months, contact a skilled HVAC technician immediately. While waiting for professional help, the cooling strategies discussed in this article can effectively manage indoor temperatures and help prevent heat-related health problems. Regular maintenance is essential to reduce the likelihood of unexpected air conditioner failures. Moreover, ensuring your unit is properly sized for your space can prevent undue stress on the system.

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Contact Hart Home Comfort for Your HVAC Needs

Hart Home Comfort offers top-notch heating and cooling services throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens, New York. Our team comprises professionally certified technicians who provide expert HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician has the extensive knowledge and experience required to service your HVAC system effectively.

We offer the most competitive rates for HVAC services in the area. Our maintenance services enhance your comfort, boost energy efficiency, and help reduce your cooling costs. Should you require an HVAC repair or a new system, we can guide you to the options tailored to your home and budget. We stand behind our work with a satisfaction guarantee. To book a service visit and get a free, in-home estimate, call Hart Home Comfort today.

For any questions about what Hart Home Comfort can do for you, give us a call today. Click here to contact us now or call us at (631) 667-3200 to find out more! Click the link to view our service area.

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