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AC service in high demand over weekend

CONYERS -- Record-setting high temperatures over the weekend made for long hours for local heating and air conditioning contractors.

Katy Harber, office manager for Peppers Heating & Air Conditioning in Conyers, said the company received more than 90 calls for service Saturday and Sunday, with 54 coming in on Sunday alone.

As of Monday, Harber said technicians had addressed all the calls received so far.

"We've gotten all of them taken care of or scheduled for today," she said.

During times of high demand, Harber said it's all hands on deck.

"We run our regular service technicians and our owners and office managers," she said. "Everybody comes together and gets it taken care of."

Amber Hill, dispatcher for Air Conditioning Specialist Inc. in Covington, said the company performed more than 100 service calls on Saturday and Sunday. "And we have several set for today and tomorrow," she said on Monday.

ACS typically has one technician on call over the weekend, but extreme temperatures and high call volume led them to call in all five technicians and the company owner, Hill said. ACS serves the entire metro area, she said, so the technicians worked calls both locally and outside the east metro area.

Jerry Vickers of Vickers Heating & Air Conditioning in Conyers, said service calls came in "nonstop" over the weekend. As of Monday, the company's technicians were already booked through Thursday, he said.

Many of the service calls came from customers who felt their air conditioning units weren't cooling enough. But Harber said it is important to realize that during times of extreme heat, properly working AC units can keep the temperature inside a house only about 20 degrees cooler than outside.

"So on these 107 and 109 (degree) days, they'll be good to get 89 in the house," she said.

Hill said another common problem seen over the weekend was blown capacitors. Once a capacitor gets extremely hot it tends to swell and overheat, she said, adding that replacing a blown capacitor is a relatively simple fix.

Vickers said regular service for AC units could help avoid some of the problems experienced during periods of extreme heat. He recommended keeping condensers cleaned and filters replaced. He also said the temperature inside a house can have as much to do with insulation and keeping windows and doors closed.

From his experience in the business, Vickers said he believes people tolerate cold temperatures better than extreme heat. Residents can always turn on a space heater or add blankets to the bed when the weather gets cold, "but when it is hot like it was this weekend, you can't shed enough clothes to get cool," he said.