Amarillo, TX - As area residents turn up their air conditioning, AC companies are receiving more service calls for repairs.
With higher temperatures this week, many households are running their AC units on overdrive and some of those units are breaking under the added stress.
Gary's Heating and Air Conditioning is making double the number of service calls than usual to fix overworked AC units. "The biggest problem we're seeing is because of all the humidity, they are working harder to not only drop the temperature in the house but to try to remove the humidity as well," said Jeremy Parkhurst, the service manager for Gary's.
There are some simple precautions you can take to avoid costly repairs like leaving your AC set at a constant temperature. "It's really best to leave it set at about where you want to leave it at and let the system maintain that versus turning it up quite a bit and then expecting it to cool right back down," said Parkhurst. "At that point, you're just working the system a whole lot hard just to catch up."
Parkhurst also recommends having your unit checked for maintenance twice a year.
With more households turning up their AC, Xcel Energy is keeping a close eye on the power grid for small, temporary outages known as "brownouts."
"In high heat days like this, we do get concerned about our distribution system," said Xcel spokesperson Wes Reeves. "We might have all the power we need, but if our system is breaking down in moving power that can be an issue as well."
However, this summer Reeves said brownouts are a lot less likely. "We feel very confident, in fact we feel a lot more confident this summer than we have in a number of summers largely because of some structural changes we've made to our transmission system and our ability to bring in more power."
Other parts of Texas recently issued requests for energy conservation due more AC users, but Xcel does not anticipate that happening in the Panhandle.