How To Cool Your House (For a Little While) Without Electricity

 In Keeping Cool, Summer Topics

From heatwaves that tax the power grid to heavy thunderstorms from the United States’ third most thunderstorm prone city, Tallahassee residents are no strangers to temporary power outages. Most power outages last only a few hours, but can still leave you feeling the heat. So if the electricity in your house is temporarily down, here’s what you can do to keep your house at least a little more comfortable and cool.

Close the windows

You’ll want to minimize all sources of heat coming into your home. Block out as much sunlight as possible by closing curtains, blinds and drapes. To keep the air circulating, you can open windows during the cooler morning and evening hours, but make sure to close them if the outage is during the hot afternoon.

Make use of battery-operated electronics

Using a battery-operated fan could also help cool you down. And for an extra blast of relief, take a small bowl of cold water or ice and place it in front of the fan to create a cooling mist. For most other battery-powered lights or electronics, turn them off so they are not producing unnecessary heat. In cases of severe weather, do keep weather alert radios or other emergency equipment on to stay aware and be prepared.

Practice generator safety

Portable generators can be great for powering necessary electronics in a pinch. But using a generator safely is extremely important. Generators can produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide, an almost undetectable gas that can kill in as little as five minutes. With this in mind, never run a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces like the garage. Be sure to set the generator at least 20 feet from your house and point the engine exhaust away from all doors and windows. If it is raining outside, do not run the generator without properly covering it while still allowing for ventilation. For more portable generator safety tips, read this article.

Check your status

Knowing how long the power will be out has a huge impact on your cooling strategy. As a Tallahassee resident, you can always check the status of an outage with this interactive map, or report an electric outage by calling 891-4YOU (4968), online at or by using the DigiTally mobile app. For Talquin Electric or Duke Energy customers, you can find more information at the Power Outages section of the Leon County Emergency Information Portal. For those residing outside of Leon County, you can track power outages here.

What should I do after the power comes back on?

When you’re back to enjoying the nice, cool air, be sure to properly put away and safely store your portable generator. Throw out any perishable food items, especially if the outage lasted longer than four hours. After the power has been restored, remember it may take a while for your house to cool down. But if you are concerned that your air conditioning unit is not working properly, call the experts!

At Barineau Heating and Air-Conditioning, we promise to work as quickly and diligently as possible to get your family back to being cool and comfortable. Call us any day, anytime, anywhere at 850.580.4029 or access our Get Help Now page here.

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