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Broken air conditioner? Could take at least a week to have it fixed

Some air conditioner repair shop workers say people are paying extra money to get the job done sooner.

WOODBURY, Minn. — If you like the heat, this is the week for you.

While it was less humid on Tuesday, it still got up to 89 degrees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

But if your air conditioner quit, like Ken Stone's, it could take at least a week before it's fixed. 

Stone is relying on several fans to cool down his basement turned makeshift bedroom since it went out on Sunday.

"We didn't turn on the air conditioning until this week, so we didn't know it was bad," said Stone.

The 21-year-old machine gave up on a day it hit nearly 100 degrees. The repair technician told Stone a new one wouldn't arrive for another eight days. 

"Everybody needs a new air conditioner right now and we're just one of the people in line," said Stone.

"It's a nightmare just trying to make sure you don't run out of equipment," said Ed Pelto, who runs a small heating and air business. 

He keeps more more than a dozen AC units on-hand due to demand and says customers will pay extra right now just to get the job done sooner.

"That's how busy it is. People are just coughing up if you can get in there like right now," said Pelto. 

He says, on average, a new air conditioner can cost up to $4,000. Stone paid about $5,000 for his. 

It can also take three hours to install it, but Pelto says that simple maintenance can extend the life of your machine. 

"Condenser coil, batteries in the thermostat, and air filter, that's what every homeowner needs to keep up on before you call for service," said Pelto.

The summer heat is sticking around — those fans are helping to keep Stone's house hovering around 83 degrees.

"It wasn't that long ago we were all complaining. I can't believe it's so cold, I'd like it to get hot, well wish granted," said Stone. "We're fortunate, but other people can't escape."

If you still don't have AC, experts recommend trying something called the wind-chill effect that could lower your body temperature by four degrees.

Start by using your ceiling fan and make sure it's turning counter clockwise and blowing air down on you. If you leave the room, turn it off to conserve energy because this method helps cool you down, not lower the room temperature. To do that, put fans in your windows when the sun goes down.

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