A/C Broken? Try Living Without Air Conditioning

It’s a pretty common story. Your air conditioning is set to 73 degrees, but the thermostat says it’s 81 inside your home. Maybe the air conditioning is blowing warm air, maybe it’s shut off entirely. You call the HVAC repairman, such as the Air National HVAC, who tells you that you have a busted coil in your condensing unit that will cost $1,200 to fix. And the repairman warns, your unit is more than 15 years old and may not last much longer, anyway. You’re all but broke. Sure, most households could find a way to get their air conditioning fixed: Despite rising interest rates and economic hardship, we’re still a nation whose economy is built on credit. Whether it’s maxing out the credit card(s) or taking out a second mortgage, you can’t imagine enduring the rest of the summer without air conditioning. Or can you?

The Power of Story, the Status of Accomplishment

Choosing to go without air conditioning for the summer doesn’t have to be an exercise in masochism, but it is something worthwhile, something to be proud of. You’re saving energy; you’re saving money. And, you’ll always be able to say that you made it through a Nebraska summer, an Ohio summer, a New York summer, etc. and lived to tell the tale. It’s character-building with a side of boastfulness.

Look, living without air conditioning isn’t easy, no matter what this or any other blog might tell you. Light sleepers will toss and turn, especially at first. Household members will become more easily irritated. And you’ll need to stay diligent about your daily routine, drinking more ice water, staying calm, focused. But you shouldn’t underestimate yourself, either. If you’ve gone without air conditioning for a single night, don’t judge the rest of the summer by this initial experience. Just like the first night with a new cuckoo clock, we eventually habituate to our surroundings. By the second week, you should find some normalcy again.

Tips and Strategies for Living without A/C

Habituation only takes care of the relative perception that your house is warm. Without following a few basic strategies, your home will be too warm, physiologically speaking, for your physical and mental well-being. Here are some nuts-and-bolts strategies for keeping your indoor ambient temperature manageable.

• Cover the windows, preferably with heavy drapes, blankets, etc. You may not be able to enjoy the sunshine from inside your home, but it will be a small price to pay to stay comfortable. Wait until the sun goes down, then throw those windows open.
• Try not to turn on the oven, stove, or heat-producing lights. Grill outdoors, if you can. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs, if you haven’t already. Only 15% of the energy used for incandescent bulbs results in light; nearly 85% is heat!
• If you don’t have ceiling fans for every room that you frequently use, go out and buy auxiliary room fans. Look for various sizes, noise-levels, costs to fit each room in your house.
• Redefine rooms. Due to insulation and airflow, temperatures will fluctuate room-by-room. With superior insulation, modern homes may have even greater fluctuations. If you can’t sleep, read, or eat in one room, don’t be afraid to switch it up: Sleep in the living room, eat in the game room, read in the dining room. Whatever keeps you cool.

How One Hot Summer can make for a Pretty Cool Life

No home improvement strategies are going to be effective without getting your household on board with the idea. Sit down and talk about the fact that everybody’s fuse is going to be a little shorter. If you have children, bribe them. Explain what rewards, both personal and for the family as a whole, they stand to gain by enduring this summer as gracefully as they can….So, other than an ice cream cone or a new PS3 controller, what rewards do lie at the end of this heat tunnel for you, your children, and your household? Not only will surviving one summer allow you to prepare your finances to install a cooling system next year, but homes can chew through $150/month just for air conditioning during the summer. Thus, with a little planning, you can install a high performance, ultra-reliable, energy-efficient cooling system that may lower your summer cooling bills by 50% or more for the next 25 years.

10 thoughts on “A/C Broken? Try Living Without Air Conditioning


  2. I basically live without air conditioner. If it's too hot and I can't resist, I will go where it has air conditioner.

  3. My family has never had it and it is currently 98 degrees here with 90 % humidity. just dress light, use a ceiling fan, and take cold showers…
    I hate when i go to the store or movies and they have AC on!

    1. I’m jealous that you’re dealing with 98 degree temperatures right now! I’m actually not the biggest A/C fan myself, but the people I live with certainly are. I agree, though, that there are plenty of ways to keep your house at a comfortable temperature without air conditioning. Heating, however, is a different story!

  4. You can bring it to trusted sites like famousacandheat for the guaranteed air conditioner services as well as maintenance and repairs we need for our unit.

  5. I had an air condition but my kid removed the styrofoam for the inside. Its a haier air conditioner. And no it blows hot air.
    I was wondering is there a way to fix this problem? Maybe replace the styrofoam?

  6. I had to live without air conditioning when I was living in Reno, Nevada and oh my gosh was that terrible! I literally felt like I was going to be sick. My advice to people who have theirs break, have lots of shorts, tank tops etc and drink lots of cold water.

  7. Living without an airconditioner is a something that I’ve been very used to. I live in a tropical country and when it’s hot, it’s really hot. I only use electric fan, so when summer season is on, it’s almost “on” the whole day.

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