MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With temps in the 100s, your air conditioning is probably getting a pretty good workout. The same goes for the air conditioning repair workers. They’ve been putting in long days just to keep up with customer calls.

That’s because most people do a terrible job of taking care of their air conditioning.

“The most common problem is it’s dirty,” said Alex Hennessy, an AC technician with Minneapolis & St. Paul Plumbing, Heating & Air.

While Hennessy is a popular guy these days, he’s also working 11-hour shifts cleaning, checking and repairing AC units. He said rocks thrown into air conditioners are a common source of trouble.

“Your condenser coil might get hit by a rock, something like that, causing a massive leak. Or there could just be a small pin-hole leak, which, over time, will let all the refrigeration fluids out,” Hennessy said.

He also checks the electrical components and does a lot of cleaning.

Cleaning is something homeowners can do for preventative maintenance. You can use a Shop-Vac or a garden hose to clean the condenser — it’s the thing that looks a bit like the radiator in your car. A paint brush is good for cleaning small areas.

The first step is always to disconnect the power before cleaning it.

While the techs are in the field, the calls keep coming at headquarters. Appointments were made today for service calls next week.

But sometimes — even though it’s tough to hear — your old AC unit may be on death’s door and a replacement may be the best way to go.

“Anywhere from 10 to 15 (years), you see the units are starting to have problems and failures, and things needing to be replaced,” said Hennessy.


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