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Denver heat wave breaking records and ACs, cars

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 21:44:13-04

DENVER -- The Colorado triple-digit heat wave isn't just breaking records. It's breaking plenty of air conditioners and cars.

AAA Colorado roadside assistance is getting so many calls for stranded drivers that dispatchers are in triage mode, prioritizing help for people stranded on the road before people stuck with dead cars in driveways and parking lots.

"Listen, we're getting several hundred calls every hour," said Skyler McKinley, a spokesman with AAA Colorado. "That's because heat is really disruptive to batteries. It's actually the number one culprit of battery failure, even more than winter weather."

Meanwhile, so many air conditioners are breaking down, Front Range HVAC technicians are working long hours to keep up with calls.

Michelle Greak, a Castle Rock mother, said her AC stopped working Wednesday night, and it was so hot they could barely sleep.

"I think it's miserable," said Greak. "That's why we moved to Colorado was to escape the heat. So when it gets this hot, I'm just melting."

AC Technician Clinton Dunn said business is good right now, and there is satisfaction in helping people cool back down.

"It's very busy. It's one right after the other," said Dunn. "The biggest thing on our equipment is [you need to] change filters. Systems are just like you and I. if they can't breathe, they're not going to work properly or live as long."

Calls for paramedics are also heating up, with Denver Health Paramedic Division responding to 26 heat-related calls so far this month, up from only ten calls last month.

"The biggest concern with heat is heat stroke," said Capt. Steve Hulac with Denver Health Paramedic Division. "And these are patients who are very confused. They have dry skin because they've stopped being able to sweat."

If you'd like some tips to help your car survive the summer, Triple A Colorado has them at the ready. Denver Health also has some great tips for beating the triple-digit heat.