How to protect your air conditioner in scorching heat

HENDERSON (KTNV) -
With an excessive heat warning running through the end of the work week, air conditioning repair crews are going to be busy.
 
Bill Mayers, the owner of A-1 Quality Care Heating & Air Conditioning, says his technicians’ schedules are full and most customers unfortunately have to wait at least a day for repairs.
 
"This is our busiest time of the year, and we take it on a first come first served basis," Mayers said.
The employees are working as long as they are legally allowed, rescuing people without any relief from the scorching temperatures.
 
"A lot of ice water. A lot of sitting under the fan, Um a lot of going to the local casino to eat," Moe Lastfogel said of living without a working air conditioner.
 
If you don’t want to be stuck in a hot home with a big repair bill, there are several steps you can take.
 
First, change your air filters every 30 days.
 
It sounds basic, but Mayers says a clean air filter leads to better air flow.
 
That can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to cool your home, lowering your power bill.
 
It also can prevent costly damage to the unit.
 
"If we can't get that air flow, we can't get that heat load on that evaporator coil, we are going to slug the compressor with liquid refrigerant and going to damage it , and that is the hidden cost of dirty air filters," Mayers said.
 
Mayers also says it is a good idea to cover all your windows with good shades to keep heat out in the first place.
 
When it is 115 degrees outside, don’t expect your air conditioner to keep your home ice cold.
 
The units typically aren’t built that way.
 
"110, 115 or more, their efficiency goes away. They just can't keep up," Mayers said.
 
When you think your air conditioner is broken, do a simple test.
 
Reach up and feel if the air coming out of the vents is hot or cold before picking up the phone.
 
Mayers also says routine maintenance is key.
 
He said it is important to have your AC unit checked once before the summer and again before using the heat in the winter.
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