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AC Repair Companies See Demand Surge With High Temps, Challenged by Labor and Supply Shortage

NBC Dallas logo NBC Dallas 6/15/2021 Lili Zheng
a man in a blue shirt: As the temperatures continue to rise across North Texas, HVAC and AC repair companies are staying busy to keep up with demand. © Provided by NBC Dallas

As the temperatures continue to rise across North Texas, HVAC and AC repair companies are staying busy to keep up with demand.

As the temperatures continue to rise across North Texas, air conditioning repair companies are staying busy to keep up with demand.

Sonny Pewitt, the owner of Fort Worth Air Conditioning Company, said the past few days have been filled with long hours. On average, he has answered 12 to 15 calls for services each day. Typically in mid-June, he'll have five or six different calls for services each day.

“Beyond challenging,” he said. “I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and last night, I think I shut it down at midnight. That’s been that way day after day for the past few days.”

The high call volume he has experienced is comparable to his demand in mid-July, Pewitt said. The majority of the calls are for AC repairs, while a few are for unit tune-ups and maintenance.

“It rained for almost a month straight off and on, right? The humidity is exceptionally high. When the humidity is high, you put in just a little bit of heat and the air conditioner is going to work extremely hard,” he explained. “Now we’re approaching triple digits along with high humidity, so you’re pushing these air conditioners to the brink.”

The humidity began to drop across North Texas on Tuesday, but it is still expected to be hot with highs in the upper 90s through Thursday. With the lower humidity, the afternoon heat index will be 98-102.

Pewitt is not the only company grappling with higher demand for service. Brett Hobson, president of Comfort Experts, says along with demand they are also faced with the challenge of labor and supply shortages.

While he said labor shortages are something their industry has faced for years, the issue with supply is related to the pandemic.

“For example, one of our supply houses…typically, we’d get a semi truckload every single day. Now we’re only getting a load every eight days,” Hobson said. “A lot of the components to build the units and stuff are imported, so we’re seeing a lot of bottlenecks at the shipping ports. That’s causing a problem. Most of the equipment is assembled here in the United States but a lot of the electronics are imported from China, or Asia somewhere.”

With days to go until the official start of summer, technicians are urging people who need their services to remain patient.

“Call your local AC guy. Get on the list, try to be patient and clean out your coils. Rinse out your coils with some water if you can,” Pewitt suggested. "If the unit can’t breathe, it’s going to not cool very well, potentially fail. That kind of thing. Washing out these coils gives it their best chance."

Hobson also stressed the importance of communicating with your potential contractor and being reasonable with requests.

“If it’s a situation where it’s maybe not as comfortable as you want, that’s not a priority compared to someone that maybe has health issues and really needs somebody to come out,” Hobson said.

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