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Air conditioner broken? Get in line

It’s hot outside. It’s hotter inside your car. Here’s how to stay out of danger.

It doesn't take long for the temperature inside a car to reach dangerous levels. Sacramento Metro Fire offers ways to keep everyone safe.
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It doesn't take long for the temperature inside a car to reach dangerous levels. Sacramento Metro Fire offers ways to keep everyone safe.

If your air conditioner just died, you’ll likely have to wait more than a week to get it fixed.

HVAC repair services in Sacramento have been inundated with hundreds of calls every day during this week’s record-breaking heat wave.

Garick Air Conditioning Service on X Street in midtown received more than 400 calls in one day. They’re booked through June 30, according to manager Jonathan Turner, and are no longer accepting any new customers.

Danny Victoriano, owner of Kingdom Heating & Air in East Sacramento, wakes up to dozens of messages every morning.

“Calls are coming in until 11 at night,” he said. “People just want it to get fixed now. It’s crazy.”

The same is true for at least four other HVAC repair services in Sacramento.

“When it gets hot, everyone gets impatient,” said Matt Cantu with Kleen Air Heating and Air Conditioning. “We’re trying to help everyone we can.”

Facing long waiting lists and triple-digit heat, people desperate for relief are attempting to repair their own air conditioners.

Standard Appliance & HVAC Supply on S Street has had a steady stream of customers for days, said Daniel Campos, customer service clerk. The store is selling a large number of capacitors, which are small batteries that power the fan motor.

“(Capacitors) are not made to withstand that kind of heat,” he said.

Because of the high demand, Standard sold out of capacitors for a day. Now, they have a wall of shelves stocked up. They cost $20 to $50. Fan motors are also selling fast and cost $160 to $200.

“Most homeowners can install these easily as long as they turn off the fuse first,” said Dale Disney, an accountant at Standard. “But if they’re totally clueless then they probably shouldn’t try it.”

Repair scams from unlicensed contractors spike during the summer, said Danielle Spang, digital marketing and communication manager at the Sacramento Better Business Bureau.

These scams usually start with fliers that are spread through a neighborhood marketing HVAC repair and home improvement, she said. The person will cite a contractor’s license that doesn’t belong to them.

“That’s why it’s important for homeowners to actually look up who that license number belongs to,” she said.

The heat wave is forecast to subside in the next week, sliding back into the 90s by Monday.

A Red Flag Warning, issued by the National Weather Service, remains in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday, June 22, 2017, as heat, dryness and hot breezes combine for dangerous conditions in the Sacramento region and Northern California in general.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1175, @SullivanMollyM

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