Heat wave keeping Valley A/C companies busy, 5 tricks to stay cool

PHOENIX - Ready or not, triple-digit temperatures are here, and they're not leaving anytime soon.

The intense heat has air conditioning units working in overdrive, and it's leading to breakdowns all over the Valley. Thousands of air conditioning repair technicians are out trying to get to those calls as fast as possible.

At George Brazil Air Conditioning and Heating, President Jim Probst said his company has 120 technicians all over the Valley answering calls due to the high volume coming in.  

Techs now have two shifts working from 7 a.m until 1 to 2 a.m. Their service center is handling about 250 service calls a day, and that number increases to about 600 calls a day as the temperatures climb, according to Probst. 

"We prioritize downed systems first. Our maintenance customers understand that really does take a priority; we will reschedule our call volume to address as many downed units possible," Probst said.

He added that those waiting to service their units may have to wait a few weeks, due to the volume of calls now.

A downed air conditioning unit is not just a cause of frustration and discomfort; it can be downright deadly.

MORE: City of Phoenix taking action to prevent heat-related deaths

A record 155 heat-related deaths were reported during Arizona's summer last year. Statistics show many of these deaths take place inside your own home.

Friends of Keith and Connie Cox, an Apache Junction couple, told ABC15 the couple died after living in their home with no air conditioning for almost a week. The intense heat can complicate existing health problems, making the elderly especially vulnerable.

There are things you can do to keep cool in the intense heat if you find yourself waiting for an air condition technician to show up.

RELATED: Heat-relief stations open around the Valley

Heat and cooling experts recommend first closing all of your curtains and blinds, turning your home into a "den" of sorts.

Fill up a bowl of ice and place it in front of a fan, it can create an air-conditioner like effect.

Turning your fans counter-clockwise will suck the hot air up, leaving the cooler air to circulate below.

You can also try freezing your pillow or place wet towels in the freezer and put one around your neck. This helps cool down your body temperature.

Some companies will also bring you portable air conditioning units or put you in a hotel if they cannot show up right away.  

Repair technicians said the number one causes of unit breakdowns was due to lack of maintenance.

"Things like not changing filters, not cleaning your coils," said John Tasker, a technician with George Brazil A/C and Heating.

If you are in a hot home and feel dizzy, confused, fatigued, and suffer abdominal cramps, faint, or nausea and vomiting, it could be a sign of heat exhaustion, and you should seek medical attention immediately.

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