Extreme Heat Can Cause Air Conditioning Woes


Sunday, July 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Few things are more uncomfortable than these hot, dry days except when the air conditioning quits.

And that has technician Jon Long working 16 to 18 hour days. Saturday night he worked until 3:30 in the morning.

"This is when everyone starts calling," says Long, Wortman's Air Conditioning Company.

The Michaels called and had to wait a day in a half after one of their upstairs unit stopped blowing cold air.

"Because the heat rises upstairs, it was not very pleasant," says Ellen Michaels.

The trees overhead make for good shade. So mom didn't mind if young Allene played outside. With one unit still running, it was still much cooler inside.

Allene has seen the a-c technician before. The Michaels call one out every year for a spring cleaning.

"This cottonwood just clogs it up and they have dogs too," says Long.

This year, the Michaels didn't call for a spring cleaning.

"Just got busy, just pushed it aside, nothing ever goes wrong and we thought we could wait to do this, sure enought, when it is the hottest day fo the year, it conks out," says Michaels.

There are some things you can do to keep air conditioner running smoothly and lower your electric bill at the same time. You could remove leaves from the unit, clean out the grading system and you should cut down the vines and keep them away from the air conditioner.

The Michaels usual pay about 60 dollars for a check-up. Now they are paying much more for an emergency visit.

"Now, we are looking at 200 dollars because we waited until it was 100 degrees."

But they will be sleeping much better at night.

Some technicians say if you're a "do-it-yourselfer" you can also disconnect the power to the a-c unit and clean the coils and the unit with a water hose.

Spring checkups range from 59 to 79 dollars.

Maintenance agreements, where workers come out twice a year and also check the furnace, cost about 120 to 140 dollars.