Tips For Avoiding Heat Exhaustion When Your AC Fails

With summer’s arrival, it’s essential to recognize the prevalent health risks that warmer weather can bring. Every year, heat-related ailments, such as dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburns, contribute to approximately 1,300 fatalities in the United States. This statistic highlights the critical nature of maintaining a cool environment during peak temperatures to avoid heat exhaustion

Proper preparation of your HVAC system safeguards against the dangers of overheating and ensures a safer and more comfortable season. This article from Taylor Energy explores how you can optimize your system to handle the summer’s challenges effectively, keeping these health hazards at bay.

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Strategies for Staying Cool During an Air Conditioner Breakdown

staying cool in the garden during summer

An air conditioner failure in the summer peak isn’t just uncomfortable—it can be hazardous to your health. Many issues are preventable with regular maintenance, but it’s vital to have strategies in place for cooling without AC.  This section highlights critical methods to reduce heat discomfort and protect your health during AC downtimes, underscoring the importance of annual tune-ups to decrease the risk of sudden malfunctions.

Don’t let a broken AC disrupt your summer plans. Call Taylor Energy today for regular professional HVAC system maintenance.

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Common Reasons for Air Conditioner Failures

couple annoyed due to air conditioner failure

The US Department of Energy recommends setting your air conditioner unit’s thermostat at 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer for optimal efficiency. However, your air conditioning system can still encounter interruptions. For instance, summer storms may lead to power outages that turn off your AC unless you have a backup power source. 

Common culprits include neglected maintenance, excessive operational demands, aging units, or improperly sized cooling systems. Scheduling an annual air conditioner tune-up each spring helps prevent cooling system issues before the summer heat intensifies. However, despite these precautions, a breakdown can still occur, leaving you and your family vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The guidelines below offer practical advice for staying cool and safe even when your air conditioner is underperforming or has stopped working.

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Call For Professional HVAC Assistance Immediately

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If your air conditioner stops working correctly, contacting an HVAC contractor immediately is crucial. A skilled technician will promptly diagnose and address the malfunction, potentially restoring your system’s functionality within hours, depending on the issue’s complexity. However, some repairs might require more time if parts need to be ordered or replaced or if a new system installation is necessary.

During any downtime, it’s essential to maintain a cool environment for yourself and your pets. Implement alternative cooling strategies to protect against heat stress until your air conditioning system is fully operational again.

Utilize Cooling Fans Strategically

Employing fans strategically can also help manage indoor temperatures effectively during the summer, especially when air conditioning is not an option. Positioning fans near windows at night can help draw cooler air from outside into your home, enhancing the natural cooling effect. 

During the day, you can help avoid heat exhaustion by using fans within the house to create a cross breeze by positioning them across from each other, ensuring continuous airflow. This aids in circulating the cooler night air that was drawn in and helps distribute it evenly throughout your living spaces. 

Protect yourself and your family, and stay cool the entire summer. Call Taylor Energy for your home cooling system needs.

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Take Cold Showers for Immediate Cooling Relief

In the heat of summer, taking cold showers can provide a quick and effective way to cool down and avoid heat exhaustion. This method helps relieve your body of excess internal heat and offers a refreshing break from the sweltering temperatures. Incorporating several cold showers throughout the day cools you down and enhances your comfort and well-being during hot weather.

Hydrate to Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses

couple working out and staying hydrated indoors

Hydration is crucial in combating the summer heat. Rising temperatures cause your body to perspire more to cool itself down, leading to significant water loss. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University emphasize the risk of dehydration if this lost fluid isn’t replenished. 

As Harvard Medical School advises, drinking at least eight glasses of water daily is crucial for maintaining hydration. Staying adequately hydrated helps prevent heatstroke and heat exhaustion, conditions that can occur if the body remains overheated for prolonged periods.

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Opt for Cooler Ground-Level Areas During High Temperatures

During the summer, the upper levels of a home, being closer to the roof and subject to rising warm air, often become significantly hotter than the lower floors. It is advisable to spend most of your time in your house’s cooler, ground-level, or basement areas to stay cool. 

Minimize Indoor Heat by Avoiding Certain Appliances

turning off stove to avoid increased indoor heat

To maintain a cooler home environment during summer, especially when your air conditioner is not working, it’s wise to limit the use of appliances that generate significant heat. Common culprits that can add to heat exhaustion include ovens, stoves, toasters, dryers, washers, vacuum cleaners, and computers. 

While these gadgets can be essential during colder months, their heat output is less desirable during a hot spell, particularly when you’re already trying to cope without active cooling. Avoiding their use can significantly reduce the amount of heat accumulating inside your home.

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Harness the Cooling Power of Indoor Plants

indoor plants help keep the house cool

Having indoor plants in your home environment can be an effective strategy to cool the air naturally. Plants such as areca palm, snake plant, and aloe vera release moisture into the air through a process known as transpiration, which can help reduce the indoor temperature. 

Position these plants throughout your home to maximize their cooling effects. Not only do they enhance the aesthetic of your living space, but they also purify the air, creating a fresher, more comfortable indoor climate.

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Strategically Ventilate by Opening and Closing Windows

woman opening curtains and windows to let cool air in

It’s vital to utilize natural temperature fluctuations between day and night to cool your home effectively during the summer. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) states that temperatures generally drop at night, even during peak summer. Capitalize on this by opening your windows in the evening to let cooler air in and circulate throughout your home. Conversely, close your windows during the day to keep out the hotter air, mainly if they are situated on the western side, where exposure to the sun can quickly raise indoor temperatures. 

Take charge of your indoor climate and beat the heat with a perfectly working air conditioning system. Call Taylor Energy today!

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Use Sun Blocking Techniques for Cooler Interiors

Simply closing windows, especially those facing directly toward the sun, is not sufficient to combat the heat from its rays. You must prevent sunlight from entering and warming your space. Closing curtains and blinds, which can significantly block and absorb solar radiation, can enhance your home’s ability to stay cool. For a more reflective approach, covering your windows with tin foil can effectively deflect sunlight away from your interior, maintaining cooler indoor temperatures during the intense summer heat.

Choose the Right Clothing for Summer Heat

man choosing the right clothing for summer

Dressing appropriately during the summer involves more than simply wearing fewer clothes. National Public Radio reports that exposing more skin can actually lead to faster water loss due to increased evaporation. 

Select clothes made from natural fibers like linen or cotton to manage body temperature and hydration effectively. These materials are beneficial as they absorb sweat and slow down evaporation, helping to keep you hydrated longer. Conversely, avoid tight-fitting garments made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, which can trap heat and increase body temperature.


When your air conditioner fails during the warmer months, it’s essential to seek the expertise of a skilled HVAC technician promptly. Meanwhile, the various cooling methods suggested in this article can be used to effectively manage indoor temperatures and prevent the onset of heat-induced health issues. To minimize the chances of sudden air conditioner malfunctions, it’s wise to maintain regular maintenance and ensure your unit is adequately sized for your space, thus avoiding excessive strain on the system. 

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Taylor Energy is your trusted provider for exceptional heating and cooling services throughout Northern Connecticut. Our team of professionally certified professionals is skilled in HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements, ensuring your system is handled with the utmost expertise.

At Taylor Energy, we pride ourselves on delivering competitively priced services without compromising quality. Our tailored maintenance services are designed to enhance your indoor comfort, increase your system’s efficiency, and significantly lower your energy expenses. Whether you need urgent repairs or are considering upgrading your HVAC system, our knowledgeable technicians will recommend the most effective solutions that align with your budgetary constraints.

Our commitment to your satisfaction backs every service we provide. Contact Taylor Energy today to arrange a complimentary in-home estimate or to book a service visit. Let us help you optimize your home’s heating and cooling efficiency with reliable, expert service.

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