Us Michiganders have no problem fending off the cold. Whether we’re participating in Polar Plunges or running through the snow in flip flops to get the mail, we’re pretty good at winter-ing here in the mitten. But surviving a summer heatwave? That’s a different story.

Why does it always seem that the AC breaks on the hottest day? If that’s the case this summer, try out these simple hacks that will keep you cool until the repair man gets there.

Check your ceiling fan.

Make sure your ceiling fan is spinning counter-clockwise. This will create a cooler breeze in the room when spinning at a high speed.

Close your windows and doors.

Avoid getting heat in the house by keeping your windows and doors closed throughout the day. At night, you can open a few windows. Hang a white cotton sheet over your window at night to catch a nice breeze and trap humidity.

Avoid cooking or baking.

If you can, steer clear of the kitchen. Activities like baking or cooking will create more heat in the house. Head to your favorite local restaurant for dinner to enjoy their AC instead.

Set up a window fan.

If you’re needing some circulation, go on a quick Meijer run to get a box fan. Make sure you place it on the downwind side of the house and close the door in the room you have it on in. Here’s a Wikihow to get the exact setup you need for optimal cooling.

Use and wear cotton.

Cotton is the most breathable fabric you can wear. When lounging at home, opt for a loose cotton shirt and shorts. Also, put cotton sheets on your bed to keep more cool at night.

Thinking long-term? Plant some trees!

Having shade trees as a part of your outdoor landscaping can keep you cool for the summer. Studies have found that the average U.S. household can save about 15% to 35% yearly in energy costs. Trees absorb water through their roots and evaporate it through leaf pore, which cools the air. This can reduce summer temperatures by 2° to 9°F.

Another hack? Plant a small tree near your AC unit to greatly increase its efficiency. Just don’t plant it too close (within 2-3 feet). A good tree-type would be a native plum, Walters viburnum, Simpson Stopper or a common shrub.

We hope your AC keeps kickin’ this summer, but keep this article handy just in case!

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