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Longer wait times for air conditioning repairs due to shortage of workers, parts

Posted at 8:27 PM, May 10, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s not the official start of summer just yet.

But Coastal Bend residents are already seeing a heat wave pass through, and that means a lot of people are turning up their air conditioners on full blast.

Birdwell AC and Heating owner Jason Birdwell said they’re getting more customer calls in the past few weeks.

He said during the summer is when they get the most calls, but people are already preparing to have them inspect and repair their units.

However, Birdwell said it’s been a challenge keeping up with the demand because electronic parts have gone up in cost, around double the price since the start of the pandemic.

“Those costs, you know, they pass on to a customer and the customer ends up having to pay more money for the same exact thing that they had to do two years ago,” Birdwell said.

He said parts can take up to six weeks to come in and that means customers are having to wait longer to get their AC fixed.

He added it’s been tough finding employees for over a year now, as people aren’t as enthusiastic to join the HVAC industry, as in years past.

“If you only have so many workers, you can only get so much work done during the day,” he said.

THAQ Heating and Cooling also has similar issues.

Owner Jason Merdes said equipment is becoming more expensive and the price of Freon has jumped from $60 a bottle to $700.

“You can have a 3-month to 6-month wait because all the distributors are so backed up because they don’t have metals necessary to make the basic equipment,” Merdes said.

He said that’s why he’s had to raise prices on customers.

He said he’s also facing a shortage of employees.

“We’ve got to spend more time on every job making sure everything is perfect,” he said.

Because of that, Merdes said he’s got to turn customers away. He might get about 50 calls a day, but he can only take in about nine customers.

He added it’s better to be prepared and call ahead of time so you can get your AC fixed in time for the start of the Summer.

“Get your AC systems checked ahead of time and just make sure everything’s up and running great because in the next couple of months, it might be a little more difficult,” Merdes said.