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Coping with Heat During Power Outages

Posted by Brooke on Jul 18, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Tips on How to Stay Cool When the Power is Out

It has happened to all of us – there is a heat wave outside; life is happy and cool inside, then ZAP, the power goes out. Probably because everyone has their air conditioning running at full blast to combat the heat. Now what do you do? Thankfully our utility companies are quite efficient in getting the power back online, so the outage is many times, short. But just in case, you should have a plan. Here are some tips for coping with the heat during a power outage.


Report the Outage

Many people assume the power company knows about their particular power problem, and usually they do. However, sometimes a power problem can be confined to just your small circle of homes or just your home alone. If you don’t report it, they may not know about it.

Ask How Long

Technology now allows the power company to estimate the length of time it will take for power to be restored. Take that into consideration when coping with the heat.

If your power is estimated to return in a few hours, sit tight. Leave the house closed up (assuming the windows were shut and you were using AC). Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer and everything should remain relatively cool for a few hours and your food and frozen items should be fine as well.


If the power outage might last for some time, consider the following tips:

  • “Fine Tune” your windows to get the best breeze
    • Open windows on the second floor so the heat that is rising has a place to escape
    • Open some windows on the first floor so the air leaving at the second floor is replaced by cooler air
    • On the first floor, choose windows that are toward the wind, so that the air enters more readily
    • On the second floor, choose windows on the side of the house where air leaves more easily
  • Keep shades closed on those windows where the sun is pouring in
  • Keep cool by drinking plenty of liquids. Don't forget to provide plenty of fluids for your pets as they’ll be getting hot and thirsty too!
  • Pay special attention to any health concerns in your own home or that of neighbors/the elderly 
  • If the outage looks to be prolonged, consider staying with friends for a while or get a hotel room


In the meantime, try to slow down– no need to rush around and work up a sweat!  Take advantage of the quiet by resting, playing board games or reading a book. Before you know it, the power will be back on and you’ll be greeted with the happy hum of your AC running again.


For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.

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