Moment: Some like it hot, a lot

Moment: Some like it hot, a lot

July 13th, 2015 by John Rawlston in Local Regional News

B. J. Harjes (CQ) of American Air works with a crew to install an new air conditioning unit on Thursday, July 8, 2015, in Ringgold, Ga. Summer is the busiest season for the air conditioning business.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

B. J. Harjes (CQ) of American Air works with a crew to install an new air conditioning unit on Thursday, July 8, 2015, in Ringgold, Ga. Summer is the busiest season for the air conditioning business.

B. J. Harjes (CQ) of American Air works...

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

B. J. Harjes (CQ) of American Air works with a crew to install an new air conditioning unit on Thursday, July 8, 2015, in Ringgold, Ga. Summer is the busiest season for the air conditioning business.

B. J. Harjes (CQ) of American Air works...

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

When the temperatures and humidity levels rise, most people reduce their strenuous activities. For those in the air conditioning repair business, the opposite is true.

"Summer is our Christmas," says B.J. Harjes of American Air. "This is our Super Bowl. Every day is 'go' time. You learn a lot in the summertime. You really dig deep."

Wintertime's a breeze. But when heat comes, AC repairmen get serious.

"It's summer where you really separate the men from the boys. When you are climbing in attics, when you are climbing under houses, when you are constantly sweating, you need to hydrate yourself," Harjes said.

American Air works year-round, servicing and repairing heating units, duct work, and other tasks, but the company is much busier from the time school lets out until the students return.

A good blanket can fend off chilly weather, but in the heat there's only so much people can do. That's when Harjes steps in.

"When most people are at the swimming pools and hanging out with their families, we are climbing up in the attics and really putting life and limb [on the line] up there just to make sure your customers are taken care of," he said.

"It's desperate times. We do it. We don't ask questions. We will do what we have to do to make you comfortable. Summer is an exhausting blur to the end. You do the best you can, you take care of everybody and you represent your company well."

How do they do it?

He works with his brothers, people who have been doing the sweaty, dusty work just as long as he has. They've all been through it before, so they can keep the mood light by chatting and joking.

"You have got to have something to talk about, something to keep your mind off of (the heat)," he said. "The biggest thing is to keep a sense of humor. You have to think of the end product. You are up there with your friend and you are doing a good job. You can walk away and laugh about it later."


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