There is nothing more frustrating than having to battle the heat and humidity in a stuffy home with no AC after you lose power caused by something completely out of your control, like a hurricane. Luckily you don’t have to lose your cool just because your AC is down. Here are some creative ways to help you stay cool when you can’t run your A/C:

Reduce Heat Coming In From Outdoors

The first thing you need to do when your AC breaks is make sure you reduce as much heat coming in from outdoors as possible. You should really do this even when you have power in order to maximize its efficiency. Keep windows and doors closed, and use blinds and curtains to stop too much direct sunlight from coming into your home.

Stay Hydrated

The best way to combat the heat when your AC is broken is to simply keep yourself cool, instead of worrying about how cool the room is. And the best way to keep yourself cool is to keep your body temperature down. The quickest and most efficient way of keeping your body temperature down is internally – making sure you stay well hydrated and eat cool foods. Drinking plenty of water is key! You should also try to eat cool foods like fresh fruits, frozen popsicles and ice cream, smoothies, and salads. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about food going bad with the fridge without power.

Lay Low

We often talk about the fact that hot air rises. When you are without power and are cut off from your A/C, then you can use this knowledge to your advantage Avoid using the upper level of your home as much as possible if you have more than one story. Even better is to get down lower if you can. If you have a finished basement that you can use, then head underground to keep yourself cool.

Get Comfy

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with heat in a home without power is getting comfortable enough to fall asleep at night. The first thing you want to do is eliminate any heave comforters and blankets. Use lightweight cotton sheets which breathe more easily. The same thing applies to the clothes you are wearing. The more lightweight the material of your clothing the easier it will be for it to breathe and keep you cool. You should obviously not wear clothing that is too heavy or too long – stick to lightweight shorts and t-shirts instead of jeans and sweaters.

Take a Drive

If it is safe to do so, and you have the ability to do so, then take a drive. A trip in the car with your car’s A/C running will feel like quite the improvement over your hot stuffy home. No need to wast gas unnecessarily – if there is a store, shopping center, or even local library that is open and still has power, then check it out for a few hours to keep your family cool and comfortable.

Once power is restored to your home, follow these tips to ensure no additional damage is caused to your home or A/C unit after the storm has passed. You can also prep your Air Conditioner in advance by following these tips too.