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Pandemic Causes Shortage Of New A/C Units For Local Companies

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The summer heatwaves are rolling in, making people rely more and more on their air conditioning units during the sweltering temps.

If you need A/C repairs, or a new unit altogether, expect a long wait.

The welcomed drone of air conditioning humming along is welcomed in this sometimes sweltering heat. Some people like Aaron Gilis at Ace Plumbing Heating and Air are making plenty of house calls.

"Twenty-four hours a day we're getting calls," Gilis, the heating, and air manager for Ace Plumbing, Heating & Air, said.

One of those callers is Joyce Ford, whose A/C unit is on its last legs. She needs it for her husband, a disabled veteran.

"It's very uncomfortable, as you can feel. There's no air conditioning in here right now and I'm burning up. And as senior citizens, we need to have our air conditioning system working," Ford said.

But supplies of A/C units are scarce right now.

"As far as new units, it has been hard...for everybody. Just because of the pandemic, factories are running about at 50 percent capacity. Getting equipment has been a challenge," Gilis said.

As a result, some repair jobs will need to be kicked down the road.

"Small repairs, you know, Freon, capacitors, stuff like that it's not a problem. If it's a coil or something, getting that kind of stuff special made from factories; it's about impossible. If not, it could take a couple of weeks," Gilis said.

Gilis said their company, for the most part, has been able to get through the HVAC headaches the pandemic has been giving them. Good relationships with suppliers and proper planning are making things a little easier. For instance, Gilis told CBS13 they can get Ford and her husband a new A/C unit installed next week.

"We'll do whatever we have to do to make sure that we are healthy!" Ford said.

"It's great especially for a long-time customer like Ms. Ford," Gilis said.

Gilis also said that another issue is the rising price of old Freon after production of it was stopped by the federal government.

Getting parts for A/C units that use Freon are more difficult to get on top of the manufacturing issues.

Gilis also recommends that people clean their air filters as a preventative measure. He said dirty filters cause more problems on a system than some people realize.

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