Record setting temps mean big business for AC installers

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 5:59 PM

How do you spell relief? For more and more people around the Puget Sound area it’s ”AC.”

For Katherine Lupica, the hot weather isn't just uncomfortable, it's unhealthy.

“It's just been like an oven in here,’ she said Tuesday from her home on Snoqualmie Ridge -- with temperatures hovering in the 90s.

Katherine has Multiple Sclerosis, a condition agitated by high temperatures. On Sunday night it was 80 degrees at 11 p.m. in her home. She and her sweltering family had finally had enough.

“That was it. We couldn't fall asleep. Everyone was miserable and complaining,” she said.

The traditional wisdom around Western Washington is that it doesn’t stay hot enough for long enough to justify the expense of a full air conditioning unit for one’s house. Increasingly warm summers are changing some minds, though.  Lupica bit the bullet and had a system installed Tuesday.

“I’m from Michigan and it feels like a Michigan summer out here.”

Keeping customers cool is a brutal business for the guys from Bob's Heating & Air Conditioning. They’re working 10 to 12 hours days in sweltering conditions.

“In the attics sometimes it gets to 140 degrees,” said worker Sergey Chubari. “It’s hot. We can't stay up there for more than half an hour.”

The sweat of the workers is paying off for the boss. By Monday morning, after a very warm weekend, Bob’s had 1,200 calls for service. That’s double their old record.

“We’ve never seen anything like it,” said service manager Greg Hinton. “These new houses today are built so tight, there is no air flow. You need air conditioning if you want relief.”

A full installation costs about $5,000. It's cool money for the AC companies, but money well spent for Katherine Lupica.

“If we have a few more hot days like this I'll be real happy we have our air conditioning,” she said. “Real thankful.”

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More information

Read more about how to make water safety a priority during hot weather.

 Pet safety information

 CDC heat stress information

 

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