Parts Shortage: A Big Reason to Go Easy on Your Air Conditioner
Enjoying those heat index values this week?
Down here at the radio station we got a good laugh out of our listener's responses to the news from ERCOT that suggests all thermostats remain at 78 degrees through the day regardless of the 105-degree heat index. Of course, power outages from high demand are no laughing matter, and nobody wants to lose power due to overtaxing the grid. I personally turn the AC off when I leave for work. Since I'm often at the office for 12+ hours every day, this results in a pretty modest bill each month. It sure does get toasty by the time I get home.
The other upside to setting your thermostat to 78 or just turning the air off if you know you'll be gone a while, is that this helps to extend the life of your home's air conditioner or central air. Turning the thermostat down to 65 and letting the air conditioner run and run and run is a great way to end up not having a working air conditioner. This brings us to today's fun fact: there is a parts shortage that is really messing up the A/C repair industry right now!
Parts Shortage Now Affecting Air Conditioners
We've heard about food shortages, spikes in the cost of lumber and gasoline, and now the A/C repair industry is up in arms about the lack of parts available to repair air conditioners in areas of the country that experience serious summer heat. That sure is Texas!
NBCDFW.com reports that the A/C repair industry can't seem to find many of the parts that make up the critical systems inside the units that keep our homes cool. Items such as copper, steel, aluminum, along with items that make up the ductwork are all hard to find or unavailable at this time. The other issue is that many units run off of smart chips that are also on backorder. We've heard a lot about these chips from various auto manufacturers in the past 6 months and it's part of the reason so many car lots have thinned out. Some of these components are just not available right now.
Now every time you go past an A/C unit that sounds like it's working really hard, it might also sound like a timer ticking down to that fateful day when there is no more cold air coming out of the vents. Suddenly I feel a lot better about leaving my unit off when I go to work.
Waiting for Parts?
Wait times are said to be as long as six to eight weeks for the components mentioned above. Over the years I've had to rely on a couple of window units while the central air was being fixed or replaced and it wasn't fun but I survived. It felt like 1982 but I survived. I can't imagine it being the final week of July in Victoria and being told it will be six to eight weeks before my repairman can schedule a visit with the parts I need. So, maybe keeping the thermostat at 78 suddenly doesn't seem like such a crazy idea.
Let's hope America can get restocked on a number of items soon. We're a land of instant gratification. Nobody likes waiting six to eight weeks for much of anything anymore.