STATEWIDE — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain issues that have made getting a new central air conditioner more difficult.
When air-conditioning units stop humming during sweltering summer months, temperatures in Central Florida houses and businesses can rise to more than 90 degrees.
“It’s really miserable. When we go to places before we fix it, or before we change it, we’ve seen the thermostat, it can go up to 90 to 95 degrees inside a person’s home,” Climate Change Air owner Adonis Ramirez said.
Ramirez, who has been repairing and replacing air conditioning units for 17 years, said the pandemic has turned the industry upside down.
“It’s just not enough equipment to get the job done,” he said.
Ramirez said he will do all he can to get a unit for a customer, and has driven as far as Jacksonville or Miami to pick one up.
“Inventory’s very tight right now,” he said.
Much of the problem stems from lack of raw materials needed for the units, and not enough employees to assemble them, industry experts say. That is bad news for someone who needs central air conditioning quickly.
“They’re having to wait longer for a unit, but not only that, but the prices are also going up,” Ramirez said.
Due to supply-and-demand issues, the price of central air-conditioning units has gone up about 15%-20% over the past six months, Ramirez said.
He expects the shortages to get worse before it gets better.
“Everything is on back order, and they don’t really know when they’re coming,” Ramirez said.