Hot Temps Keep A/C Techs on Call

July 21, 2006 - Posted at 5:15 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- While the Salvation Army has set up cooling stations for those without air conditioning, many of us rely on a/c daily to beat the heat.

The hot temperatures keep air conditioning technicians on high alert.  Like a doctor, the air conditioning technicians of Sanders Services are on call 24-7 during the hot months.

"We're wound up tight from April to about September," said Martin Sanders, President of Sanders Service Company.

But they aren't the only ones working overtime with the hot temperatures.

"Units are trying to run at 100%.  If they are not in good shape or well maintained this is when they are going to break down," said Bill Moses who works as a HVAC Technician for Sanders Services.

And a broken air conditioner can put you and your family in the hot seat. That's why is it recommended you call a technician for regular inspections before it becomes a problem.

"In my opinion you should have it at least every season, once for heat mode and once for cool mode," said Moses.

A simple call to an air condition technician for preventive measures will cost somewhere from $75 to $100, a small price to pay for a complete system overhaul.

"If you have to do a major overhaul like a compressor, you are looking at $1200-$1500," said Sanders.

Scheduled maintenance and cleaning is key to avoiding system breakdowns. They also go along way to making sure your unit runs efficiently and with high summer utility costs that's twice as important.

"You may have a four-ton system and you may only be getting three-tons of cooling out of it, but you are still paying for those four-tons electrical consumption," said Sanders.

A normal air conditioning compressor should last around 10 years but without proper maintenance technicians say you could be forced to replace yours in half that time. In addition to preventative service there is a lot you can do to make sure your unit won't break down during the dog days of summer.

According to Sanders Services, make sure you change the filters in your house every month. It is also recommended using the slightly more expensive pleated filters because they catch more dust.  And while away from your house during the day for work it is better to keep the thermostat around 80º.