PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The blistering Arizona sun has tested air conditioners across the Valley this summer, and for unlucky folks who need a new a new A/C, there is another reason to sweat: The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an HVAC shortage.
"Our customers hopefully aren’t feeling too much of a difference, but internally we’re really scrambling to make things happen and make things see seamless," said Mike Donley of Donley Service Center.
Manufacturers are facing delays because factories shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, which reduced the supply. Then demand spiked because of record-breaking heat combined with more people spending more time at home. Now, anyone who needs a new unit may have to wait a couple days or even a couple weeks, according to Mike Donley of Donley Service Center.
"Different manufacturers have different problems, and some are really hurting," Donley said. "We’re really fortunate here that we deal with a couple suppliers who gambled early and brought in a lot more supply than they normally would have."
"One of our manufacturers is 70% over the plan that they intended to build this summer, so there’s no way that the factory can keep up with that," he added.
There are a couple things homeowners can do to keep air conditioners running. First, make sure to change air filters monthly and clear the area around the unit of leaves, weeds and other debris. Donley says it’s also important to schedule regular maintenance with an a/c technician.
"This isn’t like toilet paper going off the shelves or paper towels disappearing, but it is important to take care of your air conditioner."
In the Phoenix area, the typical lifespan of an air conditioner is 12 to 15 years.