July 13, 2018

Wayne Mizzell and his employees have little time to relax this summer.

The excessive heat has given Mizzell and his company, Mizzell Heating and Air Conditioning in Oxford, almost too much work to handle.

“We have a lot of overtime this year … a lot of overtime this summer,” Mizzell said.

According to the National Weather Service, Calhoun County has been feeling the heat with above average temperatures so far this summer. But with the higher temperatures has come increased sales of air conditioners and fans, along with greater need for cooling unit repairs and replacements, some local businesses say.

“It’s been a very busy summer to say the least … it’s been a lot busier than normal,” Mizzell said. “I attribute that to it being a really cold winter and now a really hot summer.”

Holly Allen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham, said the county has seen slightly higher than average temperatures so far this summer.

The county’s average high temperature in June was 89.7 degrees, up from the 30-year average of 87.7 degrees for the area, Allen said.

Meanwhile, the county’s average high temperature for July was 90.7 degrees as of Friday, a slight bump from the 30-year average of 90.1 degrees.

“And just yesterday your high was five degrees higher than the average for that day — the high was 95 degrees and the average is 90,” Allen said of the county’s Thursday temperatures.

Allen noted that the county has yet to see any record-high temperatures so far this summer.

Still, humid, moist air has pushed the heat index above 100 degrees several times in the past week and could do so again in the coming days. The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels when humidity is factored in with air temperature.

“For the weekend, it looks like you’ll hit around 90 degrees in the afternoon with a heat index of 100 degrees on Saturday and Sunday because the air is so moist and humid,” Allen said.

Walter Brothers, manager of the Lowe’s Home Improvement in Anniston, said his store had seen a boost in air conditioner window units and fan sales in recent weeks.

“We are selling a lot and more so than the week before,” Brothers said. “It’s been steady sales.”

Brothers said his store still had plenty of air conditioners and fans in stock, ready for a continued surge in shoppers looking to escape the summer heat.

“But this time of year, we usually empty everything we’ve got,” Brothers said.

Mizzell said he recommends homeowners have their air conditioners serviced annually so that they don’t struggle during extremely hot days.

“The dirtier it is, the less efficient it is,” Mizzell said of air conditioners. “And when you have extreme temperatures and it’s not clean, it’ll run harder and cost you more.”

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.