Hurricane Irma left plenty of destruction in her wake around the entire Polk County area, and Ridge Energy Savers Inc. has been busy traveling throughout our area of Central Florida for AC repairs, refrigeration issues, and more. We have seen a lot over the last couple of weeks, from residential “quick-fixes” to larger-scale commercial property damage that will require extensive repair and rebuilding. All of this experience has taught us a lot about ways you can prepare for, and recover from, a hurricane from the HVAC and refrigeration standpoint.
First, GET ICE! It sounds silly to stock up on ice before you might lose refrigeration, but ice can actually help you out if the power is out but your food needs to stay cold. Packing your fridge (and freezer) with plenty of ice in all the empty spaces can keep your food cold for many hours longer than food left without the extra help, and that could save you hundreds of dollars in groceries. Be sure to think outside the box…or, the ice chest rather…and don’t just purchase bagged ice cubes. Fill up containers of all sizes with water, and freeze them to make customized ice packs. Perk? As they melt, they create fresh drinking water for you that’s already chilled!
Another important tip during the aftermath of a hurricane is to keep your fridge CLOSED if you’ve lost power. Minimize how many times you open the fridge since this helps keep cold air trapped inside, and that will help your food last longer. Think of your fridge like a giant cooler and plan ahead to make the most of each time the door is open.
Finally, when it comes to AC and comfortable temperatures during the aftermath of a storm like Hurricane Irma, there is no “easy” fix, but we do have a few tips. If you can afford to purchase a generator or if you already have one, fans will be your friend. Place them strategically in front of open windows to pull in a breeze and create air movement within the space. For an extra cool burst (particularly at night) hang a damp (not soaking) sheet in front of the open window and place the fan in front of that. The wet sheet cools the air coming through the window, and the fan helps distribute the cool air. It isn’t a great solution, but it might help you get a little more rest than staring at the ceiling and meditating on the heat and humidity. Another helpful hint is to take a cool bath or shower (not hard, since your hot water heater will be out too!) right before you try to sleep. It will cool you down enough to, hopefully, help you relax.
Of course, there is no easy preparation for, or recovery from, any type of major storm, but there are ways to make it better for you and your family. Now that we are getting back to life here in Polk County, most people are enjoying their AC systems with a new appreciation. However, if your power was restored but your AC is not, it might be time to give us a call. Ridge Energy Savers offers emergency services and we can be out to find the problem, fix it, and help you “chill out” after a hard week. Let us help you keep your cool as we all rebuild together!