PHOENIX -- The Valley’s first 100 degree day is right around the corner – Sunday, in fact, if current forecasts hold true.
Heating and air conditioning professionals are prepping for a busy week of broken A/C units.
“It seems like in Arizona we're really proud to tell people how long we waited to turn on our air conditioning. So a lot of people don't try it out until they need it, then they turn it on and it doesn't work,” said Mike Donley of Donley Service Center.
Donley said his business is always slammed the first time the mercury makes its way up to 100. With several days forecast to be in the 100s, he said wait times for A/C service could be up to two or three days.
“Turn it on tonight, let it run for a few hours, make sure it's cooling,” recommends Donley.
Donley said there are some simple things you can do to avoid being stranded in a blazing hot house. One of the most important maintenance imperatives is changing the air filter every month during the high temperatures.
Efficiency is also a big point of concern. He said many people simply shut their A/C off while they’re gone during the day and this can lead to higher energy usage and costs.
If returning the home to a preferred temperature requires cooling of more than four degrees it actually costs more than just leaving the A/C on at the desired temperature all day.
“There are a few things in the house that suck air out of the house. Your exhaust vent in the bathroom, the exhaust fan over the range and your clothes dryer - they all pull air out of the house. So you've paid for all that cold air to come in the house and then you're just sucking it out,” said Donley, adding that exhaust fans and dryers should only be used at night.
Cars are also in need of extra care during high temps.
“As you know we're going to start seeing the freeways littered with tires,” said Matt Allen, owner of Virginia Auto Service.
Allen said about 75 percent of all heat related breakdowns could be avoided with simple maintenance. Batteries don’t do well in extreme heat. A simple checkup at a service shop can make sure your car is ready for the heat.