Warm-weather businesses welcome early heat

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SALT LAKE CITY — Temperatures on Sunday and Monday broke former April records, and businesses are seeing the effects of it already.

Businesses and homeowners alike are suddenly aware of their air conditioners, much sooner than heating and cooling companies expected. Business owner David Strong went to turn on his office's air conditioning unit when the workday got warmer than normal and discovered the unit wouldn't work.

"We didn't think we'd be looking at air conditioning problems this early," Strong said.

He's getting new units put in, keeping companies like Neerings Plumbing & Heating, swamped.

"(We're getting) a lot of calls with no air conditioning," said owner of Neerings Plumbing & Heating Troy Neerings. "A lot of people want to get caught up on service that they procrastinated or postponed."

Weather-driven businesses like his welcome the heat, especially because the mild winter affected business.

It's been a warm winter, so the heating season didn't really take off like we hoped but we're so delighted to see an early warm summer.

–- Troy Neerings, business owner

"It's been a warm winter, so the heating season didn't really take off like we hoped but we're so delighted to see an early warm summer," Neerings said.

Produce growers, too, are happy about the heat.

Jack Wilbur, who works his family's orchard, picks a peach blossom from a tree. All their trees are in bloom, including typically late-blooming apple trees.

The summer fruits are coming in a couple of weeks early.

"Everything (is blooming): from the apricots and the cherries, right to the peaches and the apples, which are later season fruits," Wilbur, of 3 Squares Produce Farms said.

With the rollercoaster weather, he's concerned about the potential for frost. Still, conditions are better than last year.

"Last year, it was well after the Fourth of July before people got cherries, and our cherries completely froze," he said.

Tomatoes could be picked earlier than normal this year too. He'll plant his tomatoes this week, which could be a bumper crop.

"So you'll probably get more tomatoes in a year like this, if it continues to be nice and warm."

Temperatures are expected to drop into the 50s Friday, moving back up into the lower 60s over the weekend.

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Sandra Yi


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