As the heat wave in Winnipeg continues, so does the high demand for repairs to air conditioning systems and the need for home cooling solutions, according to AC installer Dallas Friesen.
Environment Canada’s heat warning said humidex values reaching 38 C are expected for the next three days.
“In this heat wave, we are probably seeing 30 to 40 calls a day and probably getting to 25 of them daily with our 16 technicians,” said Friesen, owner of Lynn’s Heating and Cooling.
He said the demand is so high right now it’s taking him out of his office and putting him in the field so he can fix the units personally. “I put the pen and pencil down, and we’re hands-on the tools trying to speed up the day-to-day scheduling,”
Customer calls usually concern a lack of air flow and cooling, buzzing machines, or general quotes but during the recent heat wave, Friesen said clients are more frantic and stressed out.
“We as technicians are trained to take that stress away. We try and use a calming voice, and do our due diligence to save the existing unit,” he said.
“We’re dealing with, you know, diagnosing, going through the unit, the simple stuff like washing the outside unit, changing your filters, basic maintenance will actually correct 90 per cent of the ‘no cooling’ calls that we get.”
Friesen suggests people keep up with their filter maintenance every two to three months, and make sure things like bushes and grass are far away from the unit so it has room to breathe. He also advises people to leave their AC on all day instead of just cranking it when they get home. “Knowing that it’s going to be a very hot day, I suggest starting it before you leave for work, setting it to 22, closing the blinds, closing the windows.”
For those who fear repairing their AC might not be within their budget this summer Friesen said there are lots of incentives through the Greener Homes Grant for people to fix their unit without breaking the bank too much.
“Homeowners are eligible to get up to $6,000 utilizing Manitoba Hydro. Nobody really plans to spend on average $4,000 on a new system when it breaks, so Manitoba Hydro financing is available,” he said. “We do all the paperwork and it just takes some of that stress off of the financial burden that you experience when you lose your AC.”
For folks who don’t have air conditioning and cannot spare the dime to get one, Efficiency Manitoba said there are things they can do to keep things cool at home.
“What you want to be doing is keeping the sunlight out, so folks should be making sure their blinds are drawn; (on cooler days), which I know is not the case now, opening your windows at night to get the cool air in, insulating your home,” said Colleen Kuruluk, Efficiency Manitoba CEO.
— with files from Globa’s Teagan Rasche