Andy Wilson gets hot so his customers can stay cool.
As the heat index soared to 105 degrees Wednesday, Wilson was climbing around the rooftop of Maceli's as he checked the air filters and coolant in the air conditioning units at the downtown business.
"It's not too bad out here yet," said Wilson, a technician with Cloud Heating & Air Conditioning. "You get used to the heat after a while."
Business is good for air conditioner repair companies in Douglas County this time of year. Cloud Heating & Air Conditioning is making 30 to 36 calls a day with its seven technicians.
"That's pretty typical for this time of year," Cloud service manager Ronnie Homer said. "It's not a barn burner. But we're busy. We're have some pretty mild weather up until now and, now, we're catching the heat."
They'll catch more. Forecasters say the mercury will hit highs of 100 during the next several days -including a scorching 102 degrees on Saturday.
Homer said his technicians made nine calls to replace air conditioners on Tuesday and Wednesday. But most calls - including the job at Maceli's, 1031 N.H. - have been for routine maintenance.
All the same, owner Steve Maceli was happy to see Wilson.
"We just want to make sure we don't have any problems," he said. "This is the wedding season and when 100 people are here, we want to make sure they are comfortable."
Lawrence residents with no air conditioning or just a window unit were trying to keep cool other ways.
Chris Kaplan has a window unit in her bedroom at her house. She has plans to install a central air conditioning unit in her Lawrence home at some point.
"But with the cost of gas and the way I'm spending money right now to leave my place and drive around, I'll probably blow my savings," Kaplan, a bartender at The Jet Lag Lounge, said Wednesday.
Last weekend, she avoided being stuck in the one cool room of her house by driving and sightseeing in Atchison.
Kaplan works days at the Jet Lag, 610 Fla.
"So, generally I'm here at the bar during the hottest part of the day, and that helps," she said. "Some people come here to keep cool."
Kaplan said she hoped the hot weather slated for the area would bring more people to the bar during the day.
"It's nice and cool in here," she said. "We've got the coldest beer in town and television. What else do you need?"
Don't lose your cool
Want to maintain your air conditioner? Ronnie Homer at Cloud Heating & Air Conditioning has a few simple tips for homeowners: ¢ Shut off the air conditioning unit and wash the condenser coil from top to bottom with a garden hose. ¢ Check to make sure the air filters are clean. ¢ Leave the air conditioning on once you set the thermostat. If you leave the house, just turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees.