Relentless heat leaves Amarillo residents in air conditioning crisis

The high temperature in Amarillo hit 102 degrees on Monday. For most folks that means stay indoors and blast the air conditioner. But during those hot summer months, your air conditioners could be suffering just as much as you are.

Joe Bob Bennett, a service tech for ScottCo Service Company in Amarillo, said he responds to more calls every day during the summer than he does the rest of the year.

"Six to ten calls a day anywhere from eight in the morning until ten o'clock at night," he said.

Air conditioners often break down or need more maintenance during the hot months for a number of reasons including a dirty air filter, low refrigerant, bad air flow, old duct work and even turning turning your thermostat down too low.

"The unit will freeze up if you turn it too low at night," explained Bennett.

That's exactly what happened to local homeowner Joanne Montoya and her family. They suffered through three weeks of living in a stuffy home without a working air conditioner.

"During the day when it's hot like this, it'll just blow all day and it just feels like it blows hot air," said Montoya. "It's not cooling at all and it won't shut off."

After a hot three weeks, she finally called ScottCo to come service her unit, something Bennett said everyone should do regularly as a preventative measure.

"Get on a maintenance schedule," he said. "Have the equipment checked out in the spring and the fall; spring for cooling, fall for heating. Change their filter regularly, get on a monthly schedule or every three months."

Checking your equipment regularly and not turning your thermostat so low will help keep you from suffering through an air conditioning catastrophe.

"I wouldn't wait the three weeks like I did to call somebody out because it could be something simple," added Montoya.