A/C repairs delayed amid heat wave due to nationwide parts shortage

NOW: A/C repairs delayed amid heat wave due to nationwide parts shortage

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The summer heat has air conditioners working hard. When they break down, homeowners are finding unexpected delays in getting them fixed. 

This is another mishap related to the pandemic. There are shortages in HVAC supplies and in entire units.

With August temps in June, the HVAC industry in southeast Wisconsin has been busy.

"Everybody turned them on it seemed all at once. So the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since,” said Jason Stritesky of Rudy Uttke & Sons.

Just scheduling service can be slow, and once your problem is diagnosed, don’t expect a quick fix. The entire country is seeing a delay in getting HVAC parts.

“When it comes to replacements. there’s a little bit of delay because of parts shortage. You can call in an order and you hope that maybe the next day you get it or the supplier might say look, we’re waiting for trucks to come, and it could be a week or two,” said Stritesky.

The heating and cooling business is facing a run on steel, copper and aluminum. Some factories overseas closed, so there’s also a shortage of micro chips and circuit boards.

“A lot of the plants, the manufacturers that we use, their experience, like everybody else, kind of have a shortage of help. So that’s why it’s taking longer to get what we need,” said Stritesky.

Some HVAC owners saw the writing on the wall last fall and boldly beefed up their spring order.

“I did plan ahead and got more than normal because I didn’t want to find it being difficult to get,” said Scott Houdek of Affordable Comfort in Racine.

Units can last 15 to 20 years and perform better if they’ve had regular cleanings.

“It saves you a lot of trouble down the road, so cleaning it, checking it, making sure the charger’s good, the whole nine yards should be done on a yearly basis,” said Houdek.

Ace Hardware has wall units in stock. Officials say if you’re waiting for your central air to get fixed, a wall unit can serve as a good backup.

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