PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The oppressive summer heat is keeping many Rhode Islanders cooped up inside where it’s cool, and two local companies that repair air conditioners tell Eyewitness News that they’ve seen an uptick in calls for service.
Matt Regan, vice president and owner of Regan Heating and Air Conditioning, tells Eyewitness News his company has been receiving, on average, 50 calls per day.
“When it’s really hot like this, the equipment is running all the time and you just get breakage and what not,” he said. “It’s designed to run for a long time, so it just happens to break because the parts get worn.”
Jack Restivo, president of Restivo’s Heating and Air Conditioning. said his business is also busy fielding calls for service.
“The phone right now looks like Christmas trees,” he said.
Restivo said routine maintenance is extremely important for all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to prevent problems before they happen.
That’s what he and his team check first when determining what’s causing the air conditioner not to function properly.
“We’ll check the drains, we’ll check electrical connections, we’ll check to make sure nothing else has changed in the house that may have caused or influenced problems to occur,” he said. “We want to make sure the condenser coils are clean and the drains are working properly.”
He said they will also check the air flow of the system to make sure there aren’t any problems, especially for those that are located in the attic.
Both Restivo and Regan said they don’t fix air conditioning window units, but said if you have one, you can pull out the mesh filter that’s in front of the unit and clean it periodically. Regan also said you can hose down the coils that hang out the window.
“It’s sucking air in, so if there’s pollen or dust in the air, it’s all getting caked on that coil,” he said. “It makes it harder to run and harder breathe if that coil is plugged up.”
Restivo and Regan said it’s critical to continuously check the filters on HVAC systems and to change them often.
“Just to make sure it’s not fully of dust, you want to replace that because it makes the equipment run hotter,” Regan said.
They also expressed the importance of having a contract with the HVAC company for yearly maintenance.
“If you don’t have a contract or yearly maintenance, you’re really playing with fire, because when a system of that nature has a problem it’s usually just more than a problem it can be a real mess,” Restivo said.
Restivo suggests HVAC system owners who are not under contract to join their waiting list.
Regan recommends keeping the thermostat of an HVAC system at 70 degrees or higher because the air going back into the unit could freeze the coil and “you’ll end up getting frost.”
If the entire coil freezes, he said the unit can turn into a big block of ice and will stop working until it melts.