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Air conditioning techs have tricks to stay cool while they work in the summer

PHOENIX -- With Arizona's scorching temperatures, this is a really hot time of year for air conditioning companies.

Whenever an air conditioning unit needs to be repaired or replaced, air conditioning technicians have a way to keep cool while working in the attic, where temperatures can reach up to 130 degrees.

"Technicians will generally get the air conditioning running up in the attic once the duct work is off," said Travis Howard, assistant service manager for Phoenix-based Howard Air. "They cool the attic down a little bit while they are prepping the job. At that point, they get up in the attic and it's not so bad."

Other than that, air conditioning workers use a portable fan and drink plenty of water to stay cool and hydrated in the attic.

If the air goes out, Howard doesn't expect residents to wait around inside the house while waiting for repairs or a replacement.

"One of the things that we do for our customers, especially the ones that do have cell phones, is that we ask them to go to the mall and hang out," he said. "We'll call them when we're on our way, so that they don't have to stay in that hot house."

Howard said his company can usually respond to an emergency repair call in just a few hours on a normal day.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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