Surviving the Heat: Tips To Avoid Heat Exhaustion When Your Air Conditioner Fails 

As summer sets in, it becomes crucial to be aware of the health hazards associated with rising temperatures. Annually, conditions like dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sunburns are responsible for around 1,300 deaths across the United States. This highlights the importance of keeping cool when the heat intensifies.

Ensuring your HVAC system is in good working order protects you from the risks associated with overheating and guarantees a more comfortable summer. However, there may be times when an air conditioner fails, resulting in a warm and humid environment in your home during the hottest part of the season. This article from Lake Region Energy will explore various methods to stay cool while you wait for your air conditioner repair service to arrive.

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Tips for Maintaining Comfort When Your Air Conditioner Stops Working

young girl keeping cool during summer while soaked in a plastic tub in the backyard

An air conditioner breakdown during the height of summer not only brings discomfort but can also pose serious health risks. While many problems can be averted with routine maintenance, knowing how to keep cool without an AC is essential.

This part outlines crucial techniques to alleviate heat stress and safeguard your health when your air conditioning system is down. It also emphasizes the significance of regular air conditioner check-ups to minimize the chances of unexpected failures.

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Typical Causes of Air Conditioner Breakdowns

couple feeling warm in front of broken air conditioner

The US Department of Energy advises setting your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for peak efficiency during the summer months. Yet, your AC system might still face disruptions.

For example, summer storms could trigger power losses that incapacitate your AC unless there’s a backup generator in place. Other frequent issues include:

  • Overlooked HVAC maintenance
  • High AC usage strains
  • Aging air conditioner units
  • Cooling systems that need to be correctly sized

It’s crucial to arrange an air conditioner check each spring to prevent problems before they exacerbate in the summer heat. Even with these measures, breakdowns may still happen, putting you and your family at risk of heat-related conditions like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The following recommendations provide valuable tips for remaining cool and safe even if your air conditioner is malfunctioning or has ceased to operate.

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Immediate Assistance from a Professional HVAC Technician

When your air conditioner ceases to function properly, it is crucial to call an HVAC contractor like Lake Region Energy without delay. A qualified technician can quickly identify and resolve the problem, often restoring your system’s operation within a few hours, depending on the issue’s complexity. However, some repairs may take longer if parts need to be ordered or replaced or if installing a new cooling system becomes necessary.

In the meantime, keeping your environment cool is essential for yourself and your pets. Use alternative cooling methods to mitigate heat stress until your air conditioning is up and running again.

Don’t let an AC breakdown ruin your summer! Schedule your maintenance appointment with Lake Region Energy now. 

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Strategic Use of Cooling Fans

Using fans wisely is another effective way to control indoor summer temperatures, mainly when air conditioning is unavailable. Placing fans near windows at night can pull in cooler external air, boosting the natural cooling process. During daylight hours, arrange fans inside your home to generate a cross breeze by setting them opposite each other, maintaining steady air movement. This technique helps to circulate and evenly distribute the cooler air gathered at night throughout your living areas.

Take Cold Showers for Rapid Cooling

During the summer’s peak heat, cold showers offer a swift and effective method for cooling off. This approach reduces your body’s internal heat and provides a rejuvenating escape from the oppressive temperatures. Taking multiple cold showers during the day can significantly lower your body temperature, increasing your comfort and well-being in hot conditions.

Stay cool and safe this summer—contact Lake Region Energy today for expert HVAC services!

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Stay Hydrated to Combat Heat-Related Illnesses

Maintaining hydration is essential for dealing with the summer heat. As temperatures climb, your body loses more water through increased perspiration, which is its natural cooling mechanism. According to research from Pennsylvania State University, failing to replenish this fluid can result in dehydration. Harvard Medical School recommends consuming at least eight glasses of water daily to maintain hydration levels. Proper hydration prevents severe conditions like heatstroke and heat exhaustion, which can develop if the body stays overheated for too long.

Choose Cooler Areas at Ground Level During Peak Heat

home basement is cooler during summer

In summer, the upper levels of a home tend to be warmer due to their proximity to the roof and the natural rise of warm air, making them much hotter than lower floors. To keep cool, it’s wise to spend most of your time in your house’s cooler ground-level or basement areas.

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Reduce Indoor Heat by Limiting Certain Appliances Use

To keep your home cooler in the summer, especially when your air conditioner is down, minimize the use of heat-producing appliances. Major contributors include ovens, stoves, toasters, dryers, washers, vacuum cleaners, and computers. Although these devices are helpful in colder times, their heat output becomes problematic during warm spells, significantly when cooling systems are inactive. Reducing their use can dramatically decrease the heat buildup inside your home.

Utilize Indoor Plants for Natural Cooling

indoor plants placed in the living room to keep cool during summer

Incorporating indoor plants into your home can naturally help cool the air. Varieties like areca palm, snake plant, and aloe vera enhance indoor climates through transpiration, where plants release moisture into the air, effectively lowering temperatures.

Strategically place these plants around your home to optimize their cooling benefits. Beyond cooling, these plants beautify your space and purify the air, creating a fresher and more comfortable indoor environment.

Upgrade your cooling system with Lake Region Energy. Contact us today to explore the best options for your home!

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Strategic Ventilation Using Window Management

Effective home cooling in summer can be achieved by taking advantage of the natural temperature variations between day and night. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) notes that temperatures typically drop during nighttime, even in the height of summer.

Make the most of this by opening your windows in the evening to let the cooler air flow through your home. During the day, keep your windows closed to block out the warmer air, particularly those on the western side, where sun exposure can significantly increase indoor temperatures.

Implement Sun Blocking Methods for a Cooler Home

window blinds can shield your home from the heat of direct sunlight

To shield your home from the heat of direct sunlight, mainly through windows that face the sun, merely closing them isn’t enough. It’s essential to block sunlight from entering and heating your space. Improve your home’s cooling by shutting curtains and blinds and blocking and absorbing solar radiation. Additionally, a reflective strategy like applying tin foil over your windows can efficiently deflect sunlight, helping to maintain cooler indoor temperatures during the harsh summer heat.

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Select Appropriate Clothing for Summer Comfort

Choosing the proper attire for summer goes beyond just wearing less clothing. According to National Public Radio, exposing more skin can actually accelerate water loss by speeding up evaporation.

Go for clothes made from natural fibers like linen or cotton, which are excellent for regulating body temperature and preserving hydration. These fabrics are particularly effective as they absorb sweat and reduce the rate of evaporation, helping you stay hydrated for longer periods. On the other hand, it’s best to steer clear of tight clothing made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, which tend to retain heat and raise body temperature.


If your air conditioner stops working during the warm season, it’s crucial to get help from a professional HVAC technician quickly. In the meantime, the cooling strategies outlined in this article can help you effectively regulate indoor temperatures and avoid heat-related health problems. Regular maintenance is key to reducing the likelihood of unexpected air conditioner failures. Also, ensuring that your unit is sized correctly for your space can prevent excessive strain on the system.

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Contact Lake Region Energy for Expert HVAC Services

Lake Region Energy delivers top-tier heating and cooling solutions across Maine and New Hampshire. Our team comprises highly qualified technicians, each professionally certified and skilled in providing outstanding HVAC maintenance, repairs, installations, and replacements. They bring extensive knowledge and expertise to all services, ensuring your HVAC system is handled with the utmost precision.

At Lake Region Energy, we are committed to offering the area’s most competitive heating and cooling services costs. Our tune-up services help enhance your comfort, boost your system’s energy efficiency and lower cooling costs. If you require HVAC repairs or are considering a system upgrade, we can guide you to the best options that meet your needs and budget. We stand behind our work with a comprehensive satisfaction guarantee. Call Lake Region Energy today to arrange a free, in-home estimate and schedule your service appointment.

For more information about our fuel deliveries and HVAC services, be sure to contact Lake Region Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (207) 839-5500 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations. Click the link to view our service area.

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