Heat keeping AC unit repair crews busy

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) -- In this heat, you can bet many of us will be cranking up the air conditioning unit to keep cool. But, now is also the time that repairs crews crank up their business, too.

There are some things that you can do at home before your AC goes back and you're sweating it out for the next few days.

It's a busy time of year for Rakim Shahid with Michael and Son. "People see the heat coming and their air conditioners are responding likewise."

The calls are flooding in as people are suffering without AC. Early this morning, Rakim is on the first of many calls.

The problem we found is with the capacitor, a common problem that can cause your AC unit to malfunction. "These are notorious for going out on hot days like this one here. It's swollen. It should be flat. It's an indicator that something is going bad," says Rakim.

A quick switch here. and wah-lah, the AC is back on. But that's not the only thing to look for.

"Change your filters, keep the outdoor filter clean. If you don't have it chemically cleaned by a professional, at least hit it with a water house and some moderate pressure," adds Shahid.

"Here's something you can check on your own. There's a fat pipe and a skinny pipe. The fat one should be cold and wet. If it's dry and kind of warm, you probably have a problem," says Rakim. That too-- means it's time to call the pros.

Here's something that sounds ironic: in this heat your AC pipes can actually freeze. "Especially if you have an air flow problem or you have a dirty filter." Rakim says, you can avoid that by keeping your thermostat no lower than 70 degrees.

Also, keep in mind -- if it's 100 degrees outside, you might even consider cranking the thermostat up a little higher. Around 75 inside will likely feel mighty cool compared to 100 and humid outside. It may save some money at the same time.

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