The cost of cool air is going up

National shortage of parts means A/C repairs are costing more, taking longer
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Scorching temperatures across Texas and the rest of the nation have residents doing everything they can to stay cool, but some homeowners are feeling the heat as a nationwide shortage is making A/C repairs take longer and cost more.

Joe Brito with Absolute Refrigeration says service calls have been rolling in.

“Our call volume probably has doubled,” Brito said.

The constant heat and triple-digit days are starting to wear some A/C units down.

“We’ve never really seen these triple digits so consistent,” Brito said. “We don’t know what’s coming, but from what we hear, they’re gonna stay up there pretty hot for a while.”

Now, due to a nationwide shortage, the price of maintenance and repairs is heating up as well.

“Refrigerant has really, really gone up,” Brito said “That includes the R-22, even the new 410-A has doubled in price.”

Those price increases are affecting the most important pieces of equipment like compressors, which Brito says is like the engine for your HVAC system.

Not only are prices going up, but inventory is going down, forcing some homeowners to wait weeks for repairs.

“Back in the day you could diagnose a compressor here in town, pick it up and get it installed the next day,” Brito said. “Right now, you’ll go to a supply house and turn one of these compressors in and tell them what you need, and they’ll tell you that’s a backordered item that we’ve got to get from the factory. It’s gonna be six to eight weeks.”

Brito says his business is now keeping more inventory on hand to avoid long waits for parts.

He says there are some things you can do to avoid losing your A/C. Some of the easiest include closing your blinds, checking your filters and keeping the temperature in your home at a manageable level.

“We tell people right now if you can live with a couple degrees above what you usually do for these really really hot months,” Brito said. “Not only is it going to help your air conditioner, it’s also going to help your electric bill.”

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