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Your air conditioning has a hard time doing its job in the summer – right when you need it the most. Heat and humidity can overwork an AC unit even though those are the elements it is supposed to handle. You are the one that suffers, so be ready to order a spot cooler, stat!
If you have a service contract with your heating and air conditioning service people – which is recommended – you’ll find they make precautionary moves that a lot of people can do on their own.
Check the fuses
Most units have fuses that are readily accessible – once you turn off the electricity at the main source. They are a double cartridge replaceable at most big-box home supply stores.
Clean the condenser unit
You can clean the condenser unit by vacuuming the blade fins. However, this requires you to shut off the power. Then, follow the operation manual to remove the protective box, clean the fins, lubricate the motor, and restore the box and compressor.
Change the filters
Changing the filters throughout your house regularly is another great way to assure your AC unit continues to run problem-free.
But, when the system fails, everything seems the worse for the inhabitants. What to do?
- Drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Dress appropriately day and night.
- Freeze your pillow and bed linens.
- Sleep on the floor or on a secure porch or patio.
- Change your diet to include ice and popsicles.
- Turn off the lights and big appliances.
- Open the windows at night and close the blinds during the day.
- Turn on ceiling fans if you have them, or try them in reverse
- Take a cold shower.
Or, get help!
While you wait for your HVAC repair people, rent or buy a spot cooler. Commercial or residential spot coolers are portable units you can move from room to room if it is really hot. Air or water-cooled, small, medium, and large, your spot cooler will take the simmer out of your summer.
Spot coolers are not air conditioners, but they work similarly. They process the air in the space you want to cool. They suck the warm air in, cool it by evaporating moisture, and throw it back at you. If it looks like you will be into this solution for a long time, you can also rig the cooler to bring air from another location and distribute it through duct work.
When shopping for spot coolers, look for the energy efficiency rating and the BTUs put out. Try to anticipate your needs in terms of area covered and length of time required. You don’t want to over-buy or rent something more than you need. Of course, you can rig your own spot cooler if you have a table fan blow over some ice cubes!