No A/C? Sultry Summer Night Survival Strategies

The average person has become so accustomed to the comforts of air conditioning that the thought of surviving a couple of days without it is panic-inducing. But you may be just one mechanical breakdown or power grid failure away from spending a restless, sleepless, sweaty night or two. Here are some tips to help you get some rest if you're caught without air conditioning on a sultry summer night:

DIY Air Conditioner.  Fill a shallow roasting pan with ice and place it in front of a fan for a refreshing, cooling mist. No fan? No problem! Hang a wet sheet in front of an open window and let the night breezes bring down the temperature of the room.

Cool Yourself Off. Take a refreshing cool shower before bed to reduce your core body temperature. Fill a hot water bottle with cold water and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then bring it to bed with you to use on your pulse points (wrists, neck, behind the knees) to quickly cool down hot flashes. If the thought of a cold water bottle compress isn't appealing, try filling a sock with rice and freezing it for a couple of hours. It won't hold the cold as long as a water bottle will, but it should stay cold for about 30 minutes.

Unplug. Not only do incandescent and compact fluorescent lights give off heat and raise the temperature of the room, so do other electronic gadgets even when they're turned off. So disconnect those electronics and save on your electric bill while reducing the summer heat.

More Fan Tips. If your bedroom is stifling put the fan near the window and turn it towards this opening to blow the hot air out of the room. Once the room has cooled down a little, place the fan opposite the window to create a cross breeze. If it's still too hot, use multiple fans to create airflow across the bed from several directions.

Daytime Strategies. Things you do during the day will affect the temperature of your bedroom at night. Keep your south- and west-facing blinds closed to block out the sun and lower the indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees. Use your bathroom and kitchen fans to pull hot air out of the house. Eat cold meals or cook outside on the grill to keep the kitchen cool.

These tips should keep you cool and well rested until an air conditioning repair specialist like Certified Appliance arrives.