Air conditioners are working overtime right now, and so are the technicians.
When the A/C unit breaks, the last thing any of us wants to do is sit inside a home that's heating up like an oven. But one Oklahoma air conditioner repairman said there are things you can do to prevent losing your cool.
Too much stress on the A/C can lead to expensive repairs and can eventually cause it to fail.
Brian Floyd, from Dale and Lee's Service in Owasso, said planning ahead can keep things humming along smoothly.
"Preventative maintenance—I can't stress that enough. Having the condenser ring chemically cleaned every spring—make sure there is good quality air flow," Floyd said.
Floyd said technicians will check the Freon levels and can properly clean the unit. He does not recommend spraying it down with a hose.
"No. They don't have the chemical cleaners we use," Floyd said. "You have to take them apart where the electrical part is. An unqualified person could hurt themselves."
Ahead of time, Floyd said it's good to first check and change the filter. And it's always good to keep your thermostat at a modest temperature, between 74 and 76 degrees.
"Home builds up the humidity from outside. It gets in the walls, furniture, carpet—the more off time it has, the more time it takes to pull it all back out," Floyd said.
He said it's also a good idea to turn the air conditioner off when you mow. Lawn clippings, dirt and pet dander can cause build-up.
Dryer lint is also an enemy to air conditioning. Floyd said to screen the vents. A pair of pantyhose will do the trick.
"Not really attractive but it serves the purpose. Filters the vent and keeps it out of your condenser," Floyd said.
Floyd said those basic tips and tricks can keep you cool, though they might mean fewer service calls for him and his colleagues.
"We're the hero when we get it fixed and walk away, not when we first get there," Floyd said.
Dale and Lee's Service said they are busier this year than last year. Their on-call guy is working about 80 hours a week and his backup is working just as much.