WSAW NewsChannel 7  | Central WI, Wausau, Rhinelander  |  News, Weather, Sports

Heat wave leaves business booming at local AC sales and service shops

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There is only one way to describe the conditions outside and that is hot. While some families choose to cool off poolside, many people are opting to stay indoors in the comfort of their air conditioning. That is if it works.

At France Sales & Service in Schofield, all of their repair technicians spent Thursday out on calls. Lance Lyon is in charge of the heating and cooling division. He tells NewsChannel 7 that they're two weeks behind on installations and if you're AC breaks you may have to wait up to 24 hours to get it fixed. A wait Lyon says is common, especially during the hottest days of summer. That's why it's so important to be proactive with your maintenance.

"The only thing a customer can do is just keep the air filter clean on the furnace. We're finding that a lot of people don't know they have a filter and to change the filter," Lyon explains adding, "Were finding a lot of plugged coils on the units outside, dirty coils. You loose a lot of capacity, efficiency [that way]."

Low refrigerant is another common problem technicians are seeing. If your unit seems to blow warm air, Lyon advises turning it off and calling a repair shop immediately. Otherwise you run the risk of a simple repair turning into an expensive replacement.

Homeowners should also keep their thermostat on a constant temperature. This is easier on the unit and won't effect your utility bill.

"Rule of thumb is 8 hours," Kelly Zagrzebski of Wisconsin Public Service says. "If you're going to be gone more than 8 hours, than you're really better off turning it down. If you're going to be in and out and turning it up and turning it down every couple hours, no you're better off keeping it constant."

Believe it or not, despite temps in the 90's, energy consumption is not the highest it's been. Consumption hit it's peak back in 2006 at 2,400 megawatts. Thursday's consumption was just over 2,000 megawatts, just above average for this time of year.

If you do run your AC or use a dehumidifier Zagrzebski says plan to see a slight increase in your utility bill, somewhere between $40 and $50 if you run a dehumidifier and $29 to $39 if you run your air.

If you want to cut back on your energy consumption and both Lyon and Zagrzebski suggest not turning down the AC or turning off the dehumidifier, but making small changes like turning off the lights and keeping the blinds closed.


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