GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - A Lowcountry heat wave has locals turning to the comfort of air conditioning, which can mean more HVAC units working overtime.
"It gets hot, and people want to stay cool so that AC keeps running," Adrian Lomax, technician for One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, said. "We see motors overheating from excessive usage," Lomax said, adding other parts become worn down with high use. "That's just normal wear and tear from the heat."
The high temperatures and humidity keep Lomax and other technicians working overtime to accommodate customers' calls.
"From mid-June until about September, it's all high ops," Lomax said. "We work eight, nine, 10 hours days. We don't stop until everyone's cool."
Coming home to air conditioning is a relief for many locals.
"As soon as I get home whether it's 1 o'clock in the afternoon or 9pm at night, it's one of the most relieving feelings," Robert Kinion, of Goose Creek said. "We've got fans industrial fans just in case."
According to the US Dept. of Energy, Americans spend $11 billion each year powering their air conditioners. There are ways to beat the heat and also cut costs. The department said replacing dirty filters can reduce energy use by up to 15 percent while using ceiling fans lets homeowners raise the thermostat without sacrificing comfort.
One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning also recommends the following to stay cool:
- Put up sun blockers and curtains that protect against sun, and keep shades and blinds closed during the day.
- If the humidity level isn't too high, keep windows open and fans blowing at night.
- If it is humid, you can still keep the fans blowing and use the air conditioner at higher setting. The fans will help keep you cool.
- Now is the time to get an air conditioning tune-up to ensure it’s working efficiently. This should be done on a regular basis, before every summer.
- Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that can help save money by raising the temperature when you’re away from the home.
- Clean or replace air conditioning filters at the beginning of every month during the summer months. The more you use the air conditioner, the dirtier the filter gets, and the more inefficient it becomes. Keeping a clean filter will increase efficiency.