With scorching temperatures in Central Florida, A/C problems skyrocket

Thousands of families deal with broken air conditioning units

Author: Lisa Bell, Reporter, Fill-in anchor, lbell@clickorlando.com
Published On: Jun 14 2013 11:51:31 PM EDT
Air conditioner
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Thousands of families across Central Florida have been dealing with broken air conditioning units right in the middle of scorching hot weather.

In fact, some companies are canceling pre-scheduled tune-ups just to respond to all the emergency repairs.

"It's miserable. You're sticky, you're uncomfortable, you can't sleep," said Joanne Christmas, who woke up at 5 a.m. Friday morning when her air conditioning stopped working.

Christmas had to suffer in the sweltering heat until a technician from Ferran Services came to her rescue.

"Inside it was hot and sticky, you could feel it on the floors," said Christmas.

"Oh, you'd think Santa Claus just got there. They're happy," said Nick Godwin, a Ferran A/C technician.

A Ferran Services spokesperson said the company is getting as many as 100 calls a day asking for emergency repairs. The company has on-call crews working around the clock to meet the heightened demand.

"Changing the filter is probably the best thing that a homeowner can do. Just change the filter," advised Godwin.

But some problems are unavoidable. On Friday, Godwin repaired an A/C unit that stopped working when its capacitor broke. Godwin said the part showed tell tale signs of heat damage from the extreme weather.

But the owner made matters worse when he tried to turn on the A/C anyway and caused the compressor to overheat.

"It could take a couple hours for it to cool off, so I run water over it cool it off," said Godwin.

In Christmas' case, a simple filter change and getting a tune up, something she hadn't done in years, would have kept her A/C running through the night.

"From now on, I'm going to have a check up every year," said Christmas.

Godwin said one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is closing vents in some rooms to direct cool air to other rooms. He said A/C units are not meant to operate that way and backing up the air can actually damage some A/C parts.