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Despite the very high temperatures making their way into Tuscaloosa over the past few weeks, the heat has been bearable due to a lack of humidity and what WVUA 23 chief meteorologist Richard Scott referred to on Twitter yesterday as “summer breezes.” Still, it is a rotten time to be without air conditioning.

{{tncms-inline type=”twitter” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="550" data-dnt="true">
<p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tuscaloosa could very well reach 100 for the earliest date on record. Old record was 100 on June 2nd, 2011. Early summer! <a href="https://twitter.com/wvua23?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wvua23</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/alwx?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#alwx</a> <a href="https://t.co/QTmFsopp6B">pic.twitter.com/QTmFsopp6B</a></p>
<p>— Richard Scott (@RichardWVUA23) <a href="https://twitter.com/RichardWVUA23/status/1132032824217874437?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 24, 2019</a></p></blockquote>”}}

If the air conditioning unit in your home is on the fritz, it may be awhile before relief comes. As the temperatures climb higher, HVAC specialists say they get busier.

“The air conditioning system is going to blow out the consistent air temperature, whether it’s set at 72, 74 or 67 (degrees), it doesn’t matter,” Aaron Harrison of Premier Service Company said. “If the cooling is on, the cooling is on. Running it down lower is just going to increase power bills.”

HVAC specialists suggest getting units serviced in March or April, before the really high temperatures start to settle in. If there is a problem, they can usually find it and fix it then.

Something that definitely puts a lot of wear and tear on an HVAC unit is running it almost nonstop. And that is what a lot of people have been doing since last week, and soon enough, they will see their power bills begin to climb with the temperatures.

“It’s a lot of indoor air handler failures,” Harrison said. “A lot of indoor motor failures due to the fact that those filters aren’t being changed on a regular basis. It’s stopping up the system and it’s actually creating what we call a high static pressure and it’s actually detrimental to the air conditioning system.”

Consumer experts suggest setting thermostat four degrees higher when no one is at home. That is the most efficient temperature-for-power exchange. Fans also can ease the burden on an AC, as ceiling fans keep the cool air pushed down to the floor and spread around. Make sure ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise for the summer months. Box fans can also help direct cool air throughout the house if an AC is not doing a good job at cooling the home evenly.

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