8 Tips for Staying Cool When Your AC Is Broken

It's a hassle anytime an appliance breaks, but few things are worse than your air-conditioner going out in the middle of a hot summer day. While you wait for the repair person, break out these old-school tricks for staying cool.

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1. Let It Breathe

Trying to sleep in heat can be unbearable. Make it a little easier by opting for breathable fabrics on your bed. Strip away any heavy blankets, pillows, or duvets, and replace them with lightweight cotton or bamboo sheets. Choose similar fabrics for your pajamas. 

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2. Take a Cool Shower

Need to cool down ASAP? Opt for a cold shower or bath. The icy water will help bring your body temperature down quickly, and wet hair will keep you cool for hours. If you don't have time for a full bath, submerge just your feet and splash some water on your face.

Our Favorite Outdoor Shower Ideas

3. Stay Shady

Shaded areas are much cooler than those in direct sunlight. If you're outside, look for a large, leafy tree or overhang to sit under. When indoors, place light-blocking treatments over windows and doors. Also avoid using high-power light fixtures that give off a lot of heat.

Fast-Growing Shade Trees

4. Head Underground

Because heat rises, the coolest part of your house will always be at the bottom. If you have a finished basement, hang out there as much as possible. Or settle for the ground floor in lieu of the upper level.

Editor's Tip: Consider this your permission to be lazy. If you're at a loss for how to entertain yourself, do something that expends as little energy as possible. Try reading a book, playing board games, or binge-watching a favorite show.

5. Amp Up the Fan

If you have fans, use them. Switch on all box, desk, and overhead fans in your home to keep air moving. For an added cool factor, place a bowl of ice cubes in front of an oscillating fan. The air will pick up the chill around the cubes and push it out into the room.

How to Install a Ceiling Fan

6. Cook with Cold

Avoid adding extra heat to your home by sticking to cool foods. Anything that requires an oven or stove top is a no-no. Try fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled salads, or a cheese plate. And if you absolutely must use heat, try a toaster oven or outdoor grill.

7. Start Sipping

A hydrated body is a cooler body, so start sipping that H20! Try to drink at least 64 ounces of water and other fluids over the course of the day. Just be careful what you put in your cup—alcohol and sugary drinks can actually dehydrate you.

Learn How to Make Flower Water

8. Slather On the Sunscreen

As if you needed another reason to wear sunscreen: Sunburned skin is much warmer to the touch than properly hydrated skin and can cause you to feel hotter than usual. If you plan to spend any time outdoors, make sure you slather on the sunblock and reapply every few hours.

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