Ways to keep cool when your AC is busted

The AC in our house took a dump on Wednesday and no one can get out here to fix it until Monday morning. We’re maintaining about 94 degrees inside, and can’t seem to get it much below that, even at night with all the windows open and all of the fans running on high.

Hot, dry air is only about 1% more comfortable when it is circulating.

Last night we kept our pillows and sheets in the refridgerator until we were ready to go to sleep, and we’ve been spending ungodly amounts of time in the pool.

Tomorrow we’ll spend as much time as possible in the cinema, even though there aren’t any movies out that we want to see, we’ll probably see 2 or 3, then go out to eat.

I used to soak my feet in really cold water and put a cold compress on my neck. Now I have AC, but that used to work for me. A really good fan helps too, of course.

Do you have any fans in the windows? Putting a box fan directly in the window will draw in some nice cool air at night.

Take a cool shower at night right before bed. Having wet skin with air blowing across it helps cool you off (that’s why we sweat). If you can sleep naked, go for it. I usually hop in the shower and turn it to as cool as I can stand it, get soaked, and then turn it gradually colder as my body gets cooled down. Since I have a lot of hair, getting my scalp really really cold helps a lot.

Cool compresses or ice packs on the neck helps too like others have said.

Identify where the sun comes into the windows during the day. Keep those windows closed and keep the shades/blinds/curtains closed when the sun is coming through. If you’ve got everything open at night, make sure to close everything by 8 or 9 AM to keep the sun out. Open them back up once they are in the shade.

Don’t hesitate to spend some time outside in the shade. It’ll be less stuffy out there and you should get some nice cool breezes on your sweaty wet skin.

Shopping and movies are nice daytime activities. Although gas is expensive, driving in the car with the AC on can be refreshing.

Drink lots of ice water. I am not sure but I think caffineated drinks aren’t so good for keeping one refreshed.

Be glad it’s a “dry” heat. That’s what my goofy relatives in Phoenix always tell me while I’m suffering here in the Ohio humidity :slight_smile:

Chillow Pillow

We have one of these are they’re great for cooling off in bed, sore body bits, headaches, etc.

On hot days I put it in the fridge and really cool it down.

They make a dog bed size Chillow as well if you want to lay on one (to hell with the dog).

This is why God invented shopping malls.

I had a cheap dump of an apartment years ago. It faced south and it was so hot that I gauged the temperature inside with an oral thermometer. It was over 100 degrees!

I was so desperate for relief that in a moment of febrile insanity I actually hooked up a window A/C unit in the middle of the the room (it didn’t fit the windows). In case you’re thinking of trying that, don’t. The heat generated on the “outside” side of the unit pushed the temperature up another 10 degrees.

You’re doing everything you can do at this point. The only other thing I can think of is cool baths. I put ice in the tub and shook up a pitcher of martinis, but I don’t think the booze is a good idea for keeping cool. It made me forget how lousy I felt for a little while.

Anythng hypotonic (robs your body of water) is going to be bad for you when it’s hot. This is why you see athletes advertising sprite and such, but you see them drink gatorade during games.

Fill up five gallon buckets with ice. Set box fans on top. This will blow cool air. We used to do this when I worked on the second floor of a WWII era building with no AC. It really worked.

Invest in a few of those blue ice packs used in coolers. They stay cooler longer and don’t make a mess as they melt.

I used to put ice water in a spray bottle and spritz my face, hair/head, and chest with it regularly. Pair this with sitting in front of a fan and it helps tremendously.

I’ve heard the old practical joke of putting your bra in the freezer is actually great at helping keep you cool, too, especially if it has those liquid boob-boosting pouch thingys in it.

I dampen a hand towel, wring it out just enough so that it won’t drip, fold it and wrap it around my neck and then I sit in front of the fan. The neck is the narrowest part of your body and all your blood flows through it fairly near the surface, so I figure the wet towel is a good way to get it to cool down and distribute that coolness quickly. Sometimes though, I lay it across my nekkid chest or on my belly.

At night, I take the wet towel and lay it across my torso. It doesn’t do quite as good a job as during the day because the mattress is absorbing and radiating back body heat over a large area (as opposed to sitting in a chair). It’s not as easy to move around either, but it does help me get to sleep quicker.

Keep the windows CLOSED. All you do is let in the heat and humidity. Close them up, pull the blinds, the shades, the drapes, and if you have to, hang sheets over them. Keep your house nice and dark.

I live in the desert. I’m not at any risk of letting the humidity in :).

Can’t you just go buy a window unit for $100 or so, and just camp out in one comfortable room for the duration?

Ah, well then, never mind. You still might wanna keep the drapes closed, just to keep the place nice and dark.

Be grateful-humidity is the worst part. It’s like walking through mud.

If you’re in the desert, a cheap alternative to an air conditioner is a Swamp Cooler. Basically, it’s water-soaked pad you blow water throw. The water evaporates, and in so doing lowers the temperature of the air blowing through it. It works great in very dry climates. In some desert locations they use ‘mist curtains’ that do the same thing for outdoor patios. Hang a spraybar around the patio that generates a light curtain of mist. As the air blows through it, it drops in temperature by as much as 20 degrees.

Here’s an example of how you can build one: Home Made Solar Powered Swamp Cooler.

I imagine the simplest way to do it would be to soak a towel in water and blow a fan across it. Or you could go buy a commercial evaporative pad or make one from wire mesh and cedar shavings or something, and put it in front of a fan. One design I saw was a wooden frame holding an evaporative pad, with a drip bar on top (a PVC pipe with small holes across the bottom) and a rain gutter screwed onto the bottom. A pail of water sits at the outflow of the rain gutter, with a small submersible pump in it. The pump sends water to the drip bar, which drips water down into the pad, keeping it wet. The excess drips out the bottom into the rain gutter and back into the pail. Then you just put a big-ass box fan behind the pad, and blow air through it.

As humidity goes up, the swamp cooler gets less effective. In an enclosed space, you’ll eventually just saturate the air, and then the water won’t evaporate any more and you’ll be hot and humid. But if the air is really dry, and you have adequate ventilation in the room, training the swamp cooler on you could help a lot.

Could you just go stay in a hotel?