Hot weather means work for A/C companies

A few weeks ago many people may have debated turning their heat on because of low night time temperatures.

This week though there is no debate, it's down right HOT!

That means many households have switched on the A/C.

We heard from two Quincy air conditioning companies Tuesday, May 25th who said they've been swamped with service calls during the past few days.

KHQA's Jarod Wells has some tips to get your air conditioner working and your family chilling.

"What do you want it to be set at?"

That's a great question to hear after your air conditioning hasn't been working.

Peter's Heating and Cooling Service Technician William Prichard said, "Usually the filters haven't been cleaned or replaced and the condenser units are full of dirt on the outside. Shrubbery is getting to close to them so it's not getting the air flow across them, which causes the units to use more amps and not get the cooling because it's not getting the air flow in the house."

So here are some things to check if your unit doesn't work. Make sure your air filter is clean. Change it every two to three months, unless you've had your windows open. If that's the case, William Prichard with Peter's Heating and Cooling Service recommends changing it a little less than every two months. Check the unit outside to see if it's running. Wash off any debris that may have gathered around it and trim back any shrubbery around the unit.

Prichard said, "Give it time to cool down. If they've had the windows open and it's real humid when you start the unit up it almost takes a third longer time for it to actually cool the house then what it normally would because the humidity in the air."

Check your thermostat's setting. It is a common mistake for people to set their thermostat lower to cool off quicker.

Prichard said, "If they turn it on and it's 80 degrees in the house and they turn it to 75 because that's what they usually keep it at and it doesn't start cooling , they'll turn it down to 70 and say 'well it needs to get cooling.' Well that doesn't do any different on anything. If it's going to cool it it'll still start cooling with it set at 75."

After all that and your air conditioner is still not cooling then it's time to have it checked sooner rather than later.

Prichard said, "Go ahead and have the unit serviced. They really need to be serviced every year anyway to alleviate some of the problems and usually they can be caught before it becomes a major issue on the hottest day of the year."

Not only has there been a big need for air conditioning service, there also has been a big rush on window air conditioners.

We talked to an appliance specialist at Lowe's who said from the weekend until Tuesday (May 25th) morning at 10:00 a.m., 53 window air conditioners have been sold.

When KHQA was at the Quincy store at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, 13 had already been sold.

We asked Appliance Specialist Shawn Woods what people need to look for when buying a window unit.

First thing he said was the size of the window it will be going in or the size of the hole in the wall, sometimes that limits what kind of unit you can get.

Second you need the square footage of the room, that will determine how many BTU's it will take to cool that area.

That will also tell you what kind of power source you will need.

"Air conditioners 15,000 BTU and below run off 110 power source and anything bigger than 15,000 runs off 220. So if your doing a real large area, you need to know that it runs off 220, therefore your outlet may be different," said Woods.

Window air conditioners can range from 5,000 BTU's for a 150 square foot room to 25,000 BTU's for a 1,600 quare foot room.