AC Mechanics Gear Up For Busy Heat Wave

By Angie Crouch and Stephanie Barnes
|  Thursday, Jun 27, 2013  |  Updated 5:18 PM PDT
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Air conditioning mechanics are in demand preparing Los Angeles residents for the first heat wave of summer. With temperatures expected to climb above 100 in some areas, residents are encourages to get their air conditioning units serviced, before heat rises. Angie Crouch reports from Reseda for the NBC4 news at 5 p.m. on June 26, 2013.

Angie Crouch

Air conditioning mechanics are in demand preparing Los Angeles residents for the first heat wave of summer. With temperatures expected to climb above 100 in some areas, residents are encourages to get their air conditioning units serviced, before heat rises. Angie Crouch reports from Reseda for the NBC4 news at 5 p.m. on June 26, 2013.

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With temperatures in Southern California expected to top 100 degrees this weekend, it is a terrible time for an air conditioner to go out.

That’s what happened in Reseda at a home on Etiwanda Avenue on Wednesday. The home was one of many stops made by air conditioning mechanics who are scrambling to keep up with demand as the season’s first heat wave approaches.

Jose Rodriguez, a repair technician for Mediterranean Heating and Air Conditioning Company, rushed from house to house making emergency calls Wednesday in preparation for this weekend’s temperatures.

Rodriguez said his shift usually ends about 3 or 4 a.m., but during the summer, his hours are typically extended to about 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, he helped 92-year-old Bruce Monkman whose central air conditioning is on the fritz.

“I just couldn’t stand it any longer…I was getting hot sweating,” Monkman said.

Rodriguez and his team climbed into the attic of Monkman’s home where the temperature was hovering around 120 degrees.

“Outta sight outta mind…usually equipment is up in the attic or closet and you don’t see it or notice it’s not blowing air until it’s not cooling your house,” the repair technician said.

Rodriguez added that while Monkman’s home had good insulation, the air conditioning filters were overdue for a cleaning – a common mistake in homes.

He advised that “you want to keep up on maintenance so you can avoid these breakdowns, especially when it gets really hot.”

When energy demand goes up, older air conditioners can be pushed to the brink. So, Rodriguez suggests homeowners like Monkman keep their doors and windows closed to keep the heat out.

“A lot of the problems we’re going to have this weekend is capacity,” Rodriguez said.

With a new air filter and a tune up, Monkman’s air conditioner was ready to go.

“Before it gets too hot, get it done now,” the homeowner advised.

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