MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A heat index in the triple digits means big business for air conditioning companies. For those at home, it can be a terrible time if your air conditioner goes out.
On normal day, workers receive at least 40 calls but on hot days, workers often get more than 100. That's because units are crashing when people need them most, and although air conditioning crews are busier than ever, repairmen have tips to keep you safe in what could be an uncomfortable situation.
Workers are scrambling to keep up with demand as the hot temperatures the First Alert Weather team forecasted were coming settle over our area.
Nick Deluca works at Carolina Cool in Surfside Beach and said his shift usually ends at about 5 p.m., but during the summer, his hours typically extend to 9 p.m.
He said when energy demand goes up, air conditioners can be pushed to the brink, so to keep problems to a minimum, just like oil changes, regular maintenance on units twice a year will avoid breakdowns, especially when it's hot.
It's also a good idea to shut the power off and periodically hose down your outdoor unit. Making sure air filters are not overdue for cleaning, keeping the temperatures in your home consistent between 70 and 76 degrees and keeping the blinds closed on the side of your home that gets the most sunlight can also reduce problems.
"If you're in a dire situation where you absolutely have to have air conditioning: you have someone with a medical condition, you have children in the home, I would say if we can't get out there right away, leave the home and go somewhere where it's cool," Deluca said.
If you can't afford or don't have access to air conditioning, Horry County Police's Fantastic Seniors Program is providing fans to people over the age of 55 who live in Horry County.