AUSTIN (KXAN) — With triple-digit temperatures in Central Texas, almost everyone is regularly running their air conditioners.
This has kept AC repairman Tim Hostetter quite busy. On average, the owner of TemperaturePro Austin is receiving around 20-30 calls for fixes each day.
“Demand this year is higher than we’ve seen it almost ever,” Hostetter said. “We’ve had some hot summers but it is off the charts right now.”
According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, this week’s blistering heat resulted in an all-time power usage record in July.
“There’s always a possibility for an outage and if that would occur, we’re always ready to meet the demand,” Austin Energy spokesperson Luis Rivas said. “We do have the crews and staff out in the field 24/7.”
It’s also important to temper your expectations, as you should expect your AC to keep the indoor temperature around 25 degrees cooler than outside.
“If it’s 100 degrees and you’re getting 75 degrees, you’re doing well,” Hostetter said.
Rather than turning the temperature off completely, Austin Energy is advising folks to keep their AC running around 85 degrees when they’re away from the house for more than two hours.
“Even though you’re not at the house, it’s still advisable to keep the AC running,” Rivas said. “To keep that house cool and also it removes the moisture from your house.”
Austin Energy also says that each degree you lower the thermostat means 6% more energy is being used.
“If you go several degrees down below 78, of course, it’s going to make a big difference on your bill,” Rivas said.
Another way to keep it cool is to keep windows and curtains closed.
“So much heat comes in from your windows, so keeping them closed during the day will definitely save you some energy,” Hostetter concluded.
According to Austin Energy, there’s a 30% increase in the amount of energy being used this summer compared to other months in the year.