Technicians repairing more air conditioners during summer

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Your most important appliance these days is that air conditioner. They're running full blast. And, plenty of them are breaking down.

Two words say it all. It's hot!

"I'm ready for the summer," said Dusty St John. "I love it."

"I feel like it's just getting started so my plan is to hit the river," said Maria Jett.

While fun for some, the heat can be agonizing for others, especially when the air conditioner goes on the fritz.

Air F/X Heating and Air Conditioning Manager Paul Smith says his technicians are slammed with repairs.

"This is the time of year where it really starts to pick up," said Smith.

Smith expects each of his technicians to work up to 20 hours of overtime a week. On average, the business gets about seven calls a day. Smith thinks that will double within the next two days.

"The phone starts to ring early in the morning and doesn't stop until evening after dinner," said Smith.

Smith has advice to help keep your air conditioner from breaking. Make sure your filters and furnace are clean. Check the outside unit to see if any pet hair or cottonwood is clogging it.

KIMA spoke with Pacific Power to see if the heat in Yakima County is causing too much of an energy drain. More energy is being used, but the demand is higher for us during winter.

A spokesperson says there's no risk of brownouts or blackouts. And, when you're stuck in the heat, remember the water.

"The first couple weeks, it takes a little bit to get acclimated," said Smith. "Right now, we're all kind of struggling."

Other local air conditioning repair companies say they expect to get around 20 calls a day this week.