As temps go up, so do calls to AC repairman

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The heat is soon to be on and with that in mind, local repairmen want us to know little things we can do to avoid having to use their services, which can get pretty costly if those AC units are neglected for too long.

"It's been a nice summer so far and I'm not necessarily looking forward to the hot- going to curtail the biking," said Cherie Peterson, who lives in Rapids City.

When an error message popped up on her thermostat, she feared the worst.

"We didn't know if the air conditioning would kick on or not and luckily it was one of those nights when it was still cool and the house was comfortable," said Peterson.

She promptly called Brian VandeVoorde, with Doug’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

He performed a cleaning and preseason check before the weather really heats up.

 “When it's hot out, you can only take so many clothes off," said VandeVoorde.

Meaning, if your AC unit is broken, you're most likely to have it fixed, especially now, with temps expected to reach the high-90's by mid-week.

"The next couple of days we'll be inundated with calls," he said.

Doug's sees a 10-fold increase in business during the height of the summer and winter months, with the cost of repair bills going as high as the mercury on the thermometer.

"If you know it's going to be 96 degrees tomorrow or 100 degrees tomorrow, turn your AC on that night. Don't wait until your house temperature is 80-86 degrees."

Then, your unit will have to work overtime to cool you off, meaning possibly more money down the line.

But, there are steps you can take to keep things in check.

"If you're smart about when you turn it on and when you put your windows down, and keeping the shades closed, you can keep your house very comfortable and still save money doing it," said Peterson.

Top things you can do to avoid a visit from the AC repairman:

*check your filter and make sure it's clean.

*check the batteries in your thermostat and make sure it's working.

*check the outdoor unit.

The same rules apply to your window unit.

If you neglect AC maintenance for too long, Brian says, at the high end, you could shell out up to $300 dollars for a new motor.