Tips to get most out of A/C units without breaking bank on hottest days

WILLMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Extreme heat has hit communities across the country including in the Cape Fear, causing air conditioning units to work overtime.

Heating and air technicians are in high demand, and with the temps reaching near triple digits some may resort to doing the work themselves.

Brian Ellerson is the owner of Wilmington heating and Air Conditioning advises against it.

“With electricity, if you don’t know what you’re touching even if you think you know what colors the wires are supposed to be it can be dangerous,” he said.

Some may think cutting the power off to the unit is enough.

“Sometimes when the power is turned off, there’s more than one circuit sometimes,” he said.

Which can result in a trip to the hospital or even death, according to Ellerson.

“The refrigerant, obviously if you don’t have the tools and the proper protection you can hurt yourself as well with that,” he said.

Melissa Lovitt is a rental property owner who’s been dealing with air conditioning issues.

“Trying to get my air conditioner under control, so we got the upstairs going and then the air handler went out,” she said.

Just when Lovitt thought it couldn’t get worst another problem.

“Then he (AC tech.) informed me my downstairs was getting ready to go out,” she said.

There are also other issues home and property owners, as well as HVAC business owners, have experienced.

“Backorder, backlogged, and Freon prices are out the roof,” said Lovitt.  “So it’s been extremely hard on everything and everybody.”

There are ways to get the most out of your unit without breaking the bank on the hottest days, according to Ellerson.

“You need it to run as efficiently as possible, it’s best not to set the temperature up way too high in the morning, and expect it to make up a lot of ground,” he said.

Keeping air filters clean may sound simple but according to Ellerson, most don’t do it.

“There’s plenty of calls that we go out to all the time,  the primary issue is that their air filters haven’t been changed in a long time,” he said.

Lastly, call a professional for routine preventative maintenance in the spring and the fall but don’t wait until peak season.

COVID is partly to blame for parts on back order, labor, manufacturing, and shipping have only exacerbated the problem, according to Ellerson.

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