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Your Air Conditioner Breaks Down. Now What?

July 23, 2020

3 min read

Do you know what to do when temperatures go up and your air conditioner breaks down?

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There are so many fun and delicious ways to escape the summer heat. Take a quick dip in the pool. Chow down on chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Eat way too much watermelon.

Sometimes, the heat finds ways to get to you, like when your air conditioner breaks down. Stay with us so you know what to do when this happens (and so your house doesn’t feel like a desert).

Get Out of the House (What to Do With the Windows?)

Your AC stops working, and you call an HVAC company right away. They say it'll take a few hours for someone to come out and help you.

You can’t always leave your house, but it’s a good first option. Reach out to a friend or family member to see if you can stay at their place for a little while.

Some people panic when their air conditioner stops working. They run through the house, push up windows, and jam fans in them.

If you do this during the day, you could let cool air escape and hot air move in! Opening the windows only makes sense when it's night or cool outside.

So, it's a good idea to leave the windows down if your air conditioner breaks down during the day.

Let the Pros Handle It

Don't let your pride convince you to tackle the issue by yourself.

You should let a certified HVAC professional fix your air conditioner because:

  • You could void the warranty by trying to make repairs.
  • You probably don't have the right parts lying around.
  • You could shock yourself if you don't know what you're doing.
  • If you don't know what you're doing, you won't have a good chance of diagnosing and fixing the issue.

Leave Your Freezer and Fridge Closed

“A ha!” you might think. “I’ll hang tight and open the freezer and fridge. I’ll set up a fan and pump that sweet, cold air through the house.”

Fridge and freezer fixes could cost more than the AC repairs. It’s not worth the risk!

When you leave the refrigerator open, you burn up electricity. You could also put extra strain on the compressor unit and cause it to overheat. That could cost you between $200 and $450 to fix, according to HomeAdvisor.

Freezer repairs run anywhere from $90 to $650. If you leave the freezer and fridge open too long, food will spoil, and you'll have to pay for another round of groceries.

Turn on the Fans and Consider a Portable AC Unit

Turn on the fans to circulate whatever cool air is left in the house.

Do you have a portable AC unit? Think about keeping a few of them on-hand for emergencies.

If your main AC unit breaks down, you can wheel in a portable AC unit to keep rooms cool until help arrives.

Rethink Your Appliance Use

Now’s not the best time to test your baking skills. The heat from your oven will hang out in your house and make life miserable while you wait for repairs.

Use the microwave for cooking. Wash dishes in the sink instead of using the dishwasher. Turn off the lights because they give off heat, too.

Stay Cool With a Wet Towel

Take a towel and run it under cold water. Then, wrap it around your neck. This is a quick and easy way to cool off.

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Talk to A1 Insurance and Financial Services LLC about adding Equipment Breakdown Coverage to your home insurance.

For only $20 per year, Equipment Breakdown Coverage provides up to $50,000 for the accidental breakdown of permanently attached equipment* like central air conditioning, furnaces, heat pumps, and more.


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*Subject to a $50 deductible per loss. Doesn't cover normal wear and tear, corrosion, erosion, rust, deterioration, or depletion.

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