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Central Coast AC repair companies see demand surge

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Posted at 11:37 PM, Jun 16, 2021

If you’re staying indoors to avoid the heat, you may be cranking up your air conditioning system.

But local AC repair businesses are warning customers to not push their air conditioning unit to its breaking point, because now it could take weeks to get fixed.

“We have an 100% increase in calls,” Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning service leader, Holly Ann Deparini, said.

As we near the official start of summer, technicians at Wighton’s Heating and Air Conditioning say they’ve been working long hours for the past few days.

Along with increased demand this week, they’re faced with the challenge of labor and supply shortages.

“Right now we’re looking for all the help we can get,” Pearce Services HVAC service technician, Timothy Orr, said.

Components needed in air conditioning units, like compressors and furnaces, are also facing major supply shortages caused by COVID-19 related supply chain issues.

There’s been a shortage of raw materials like copper, steel and aluminum since 2018 due to tariffs too.

“Due to metal increases in 2018, estimate costs went up 20 percent. And due to the last gas price influxes you’re looking at another 10 to 15,’ said Orr.

“If our equipment costs go up, yeah we definitely have to turn that over to the consumer… but we try to accommodate that with just our labor and our efficiency,” said Deparini.

And for cars, technicians at Villa Automotive say they’re seeing an increase in calls about AC repairs, but once they hear the price for the service, many try to add Freon to their AC units themselves.

“They think [you can] just fill it up and go like most other services like your oil and your coolant. Unfortunately AC’s just doesn’t work that way,” said Villa Automotive Service Advisor Jesus Ramirez.

With AC units at home, experts recommend changing your filters two to three times a year and cleaning your coils regularly.

“Just like you would your car, you would want to get regular maintenance on your unit. Have - professionals look at it so they can try to combat it before we reach this peak season,” said Deparini.

As with everything else, be prepared to pay more as demand is driving up the cost for these parts.

Local AC businesses say price hikes may get worse later this summer.