It’s summertime! That means sunshine, heat, and a renewed appreciation for our air conditioning systems! Of course, it also puts additional strain on those air conditioners, and that can end in a situation where you’re forced to wait for the air conditioner repair man before you can get your home back to a comfortable temperature.

Times like this can cause you to feel helpless. After all, unless you have an HVAC degree, there’s not much you’ll be able to do on your own. Fortunately, though there are low-tech ways you can keep yourself cool…even when the air around you is not!

Regulate Your Home’s Temperature Manually

You may not have total control over your home’s temperature, but you can do your best to keep it relatively cool. During the day, for instance, keep all of your shades down and your curtains closed. This will insulate your rooms against a good portion of the heat. You can also close doors to seal off the “hot side” of the house, keeping the remaining rooms that much cooler. And don’t forget to open those windows at night to let the cool breeze work it’s magic!

Additionally, you can check your ceiling fans. Are they rotating counter clockwise? If not, flip that switch! Ceiling fans running counter clockwise will pull the hot air upward and send the cold air down to you. If it’s running clockwise, you may be doing more harm than good!

Hydrate!

The importance of hydration can’t be overstated, especially since it can be a lot of fun! Pick up a small kiddie pool and set it in your yard. Some water from the garden hose will turn this into a relaxing spa getaway for you and your family…okay, that might be overstating it a bit, but it sure will be refreshing!

You can also soak an old t-shirt and wear that, or freeze a handkerchief and wear it around your neck to cool down. It’s also a great time to teach the kids about the magic of water balloon fights!

And, of course, you should be drinking some of that water as well. Fill a jug with ice cubes and water, and toss in a few slices of lemon or lime to give yourself a fast, cooling treat.

Dress Appropriately

If you can get away with it, now is the time to dress down! The fewer layers between yourself and the heat, the less opportunity for that heat to get trapped against your body. Break out the shorts. Leave the heavy shirts behind. Kick off your shoes and socks, and let your body breathe!

If you do need to dress more nicely – whether because you have company or because you’re just not that comfortable with your neighbors – still keep the temperature in mind when choosing an outfit. Light colors and fabrics work best. Wear loose fitting clothing rather than anything tight. And for crying out loud trade in that wool hat for a light new straw hat instead!

Host a Cookout

That’s right, your punishment for failing to properly maintain your air conditioning system is…you get to have a barbeque! By cooking outside you prevent your stove from further heating up your house, and you can also use this opportunity to bond with family members, neighbors, and friends as well. Additionally, you can grill up some delicious veggies or chicken strips, and toss them all into a big, cool, refreshing salad.

Relax!

The simplest solution is also one of the most helpful: take it easy! This is your chance to lie around and relax. Catch up on old books or teach yourself Sudoku. Relax with your tablet and re-affirm your appreciation of high-speed Internet. Lie in a hammock, sprawl out in the grass, or just spend time with a loved one beneath a large, shady tree.

Living without an air conditioner can be a pretty unhappy surprise, but in the right frame of mind, you’ll find plenty of ways to have fun as you wait for the repair.