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Business booming for El Paso air conditioning firms during extreme heat wave

Total Air working on a roof during triple-digit temps
An air conditioning repair crew works on an El Paso roof during triple-digit temps.
186 degrees on top of the roof
A heat gun shows a temperature of 186 degrees on top of an El Paso roof while the air temperature is 110.

EL PASO, Texas -- It's been more than a week of daily triple-digit temperatures in the Borderland, and while many are lucky to work inside an air-conditioned building -- others aren't.

Despite the extreme heat, many still have a job to do and for HVAC companies, they have air conditioners to repair.

"I mean everybody down to the last guy, everybody is busy, our technicians are working double time," said Luis Hernandez, a project manager at Total Air.

Workers have been busy swapping out swamp coolers with refrigerated air.

Hernandez said he's noticed more and people are making the switch because swamp coolers don't work as well as they should be during the extreme heat.

"Now they’re done and they just want to move and on and get their refrigerated air, and that’s the way El Paso is going pretty soon - no one is going to have swamp coolers," said Hernandez.

Most, if not all, of their work is done during the day when temperatures are at their highest.

Hernandez told ABC-7 that the technicians take breaks every half hour, "drink a lot of water, stay hydrated. If we can, we try to cover up and just work through."

Even as temperatures pass 100 degrees, the temperatures on roof tops is closer to 200 degrees.

So to stay safe, workers wear steel-toed boots, knee pads and long sleeve shirts.

"These guys, the get used to it, they’re tough," said Hernandez.

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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Shelby Montgomery

Las Cruces native Shelby Montgomery is an ABC-7 reporter who also co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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