Local News

Air Conditioners A Hot Commodity These Days

Posted July 23, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Working air conditioners are valued possessions in most of the country right now, and the Triangle is no exception. The people who repair them are also currently in great demand. They've been working overtime trying to keep everyone cool.

The owners of one Raleigh house got lucky when one of their air conditioning units went down. They were able to get someone quickly because they called very early, but even that doesn't always ensure a timely arrival.

Those who do such repairs are taking so many calls, some are having to prioritize those calls in terms of urgency. During the current heat wave, service technicians such as Jody Byrd are repairing as many as 700 air conditioning units every week, compared with about 450 during an average week.

Byrd works 10 hours a day trying to repair or replace a/c units for customers who are hot and in a hurry to get their cooling systems up and running.

"[Customers] are glad to see you," said Byrd. "Especially if it's within the same day [of their call], or within 24 hours."

The company Byrd works for has been so busy, technicians have been giving preference to homes with children or elderly residents.

"Older people, people with children, we take care of those people," said Drew Langdon, of Metro. "But most of the time we offer same-day service up to 2 o'clock."

There are some things people can do to keep themselves from needing a repair person during an emergency. Regular maintenance twice a year and changing filters monthly can often prevent a breakdown during a heat wave.