Hot, East Texas summer causes increase in number of calls to air conditioning companies

LUFKIN, TX (AP) - As temperatures continue to soar, you can bet that your air conditioning unit will be putting in the overtime.

And, according to a local heating and air conditioning company, so are their employees.

"It's been extremely busy and extremely hot," said Ferrara's Heating and Air Conditioning owner, Brannon Ferrara. "The calls are averaging 30 to 40 a day."

According Ferrara, units start breaking more often in triple digit temperatures.

"We design these air conditioners at a 95 degree ambient temperature," Ferrara said.

Heat tops the list, but air conditioning technicians advise that homeowners can also help themselves out.

"The big things are heat," said refrigeration technician, Dusty Stringer. "Watch the vines around your conditioning unit. Look for dirt. When you're mowing your lawn, don't blow the grass up through there."

One of Stringer's service calls Saturday ended up with a family having to get a whole new unit installed.

"With this heat, we did get lucky today, and the customer's up and cooling," Stringer said.

The family might be a few dollars lighter, but Marilyn Netherly said she knows the issue was a serious one to fix.

"We just couldn't take it," Netherly said. "At our age, we can't take it. This heat wave is nothing to play with."

Ferrara's technicians say that bills for summer calls can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars.

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