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It’s almost predictable. On the hottest day of the summer your air conditioning, which has been pumping away since that first sticky day, suddenly decides to quit. Inevitably it is on a weekend, or maybe a holiday, when a service technician can be difficult to reach. It’s hot. It’s humid. There is no breeze to be caught.

What to do? The problem of rising heat and humidity is more than an uncomfortable inconvenience. It can be dangerous, especially for the elderly and the very young. So first, remember what not to do.

Don’t open your windows! At least not immediately after you realize the AC has failed. Your home will stay comfortable for a while in part because the conditioned air in your home is lower in humidity than what is outside. Keep those windows closed for as long as possible.

Don’t make things hotter! Turn off those items in your home that needlessly generate heat, such as your computer. Place the oven and range off limits at dinner time. Plan to grill out or prepare meals that can be microwaved.

There are several things you can do to keep your home and your family cooler as you wait for your technician to arrive. Consider the following a survival checklist for those unbearably hot summer days, even when your AC is running.

  • Take advantage of evening breezes and lower temperatures after the sun sets. Open windows and set fans on exhaust to draw cool air in and force hot air out. Your home will cool off throughout the night and stay cool longer the next day.
  • Keep window blinds closed where the sun beats in to avoid build-up of heat, especially in the mid and late afternoon. Close doors to sunrooms and any space that tends to heat up quickly.
  • Use ceiling fans and your HVAC blower fan throughout the day to keep air moving throughout your home.
  • Grab your dehumidifier from your basement (or purchase another one) to keep the humidity down on your ground floor too. Dry air is more comfortable.
  • Stay hydrated with cool beverages that do not contain caffeine or alcohol.

When it’s just too hot in your house…

Get outside, find some shade and turn on the sprinkler. Take the family to the local swimming pool, a nearby shopping center or movie theater, or eat out at an air-conditioned restaurant. Ask for help if you need it, and check on neighbors who may not be able to help themselves.

Finally, remember to contact A&L Heating and Cooling when you need servicing or repairs for your air conditioner, heat pump or HVAC system. The best way to prevent an AC breakdown is to have your system serviced annually, but when the inevitable happens, our emergency service team is on call to get your AC back up and running.