Heat wave wreaks havoc on air conditioners - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Heat wave wreaks havoc on air conditioners

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - These high temps are putting a strain on A/C units, and repair calls are non-stop. That means if your unit goes out, you might have to sweat it out for a while.

At All Seasons Heating and Air, calls have doubled in just the past few days. They are seeing some units 'Dead on Arrival.'

The heat itself is much to blame. The units can literally break apart because they can't hold up to the heat day after day. Also, turning your A/C on low temps and running it 24/7 puts too much demand on the system.

Waiting until a problem occurs isn't in your best interest. Have the unit serviced once a year and you'll find any concerns before it becomes a hot mess.

"Capacitors can't handle the heat," said  Ronnie Johnson of All Seasons Heating & Air. "They don't have oil in them. Years ago they had oil in them which would help keep them cool. Now, they do not and this heat, when it gets to them, they swell up or go bad, then your compressor doesn't start, it burns wires off and the compressor doesn't run."

The bad news is we're expected to have at least one more day with temperatures in the triple digits.

And if your A/C goes out today, it may be a while before you can have it repaired. Johnson says he's trying to get to customers as soon as possible, but there's a waiting list for service.

And of course, the harder your unit works, the higher your bill will go.

Also, it's recommended you set your thermostat at 78º, no lower than 75º, because it's not likely your home will get much cooler than that with temperatures so high.

This extreme heat and humidity can also take a toll on your car's AC. At A-1 Auto Air they've been swamped since temperatures started rising. Nearly 20 people a day come in needing repairs. Mechanics say the heat puts a lot of stress on a car unit's parts.

"It's all we can do to stay caught up. For instance, Last Friday we worked until about 7:30 at night on a Friday and we quit taking cars in at 10:30 that morning," said David Frazier.

Many problems can contribute to your air going out, including a bad compressor, evaporator leakage, and low levels of Freon. A-1 Air is so busy, they're on a first come first serve basis. So if you need repairs, better get there early.

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