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Tampa Bay AC Companies face parts shortage

Air conditioner
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 17:54:11-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Tampa Bay is seeing record heat temperatures this summer. It comes as local air conditioning companies tell ABC Action News they’re facing a nationwide shortage in parts to repair all those overworked AC units.

AC repair technician Tyler Ferris says he has never been busier. “It’s just been nonstop trying to take care of our customers,” he explained while working on a project at a home in Largo.

With more people working from home during COVID and soaring temperatures, our air conditioning units are working harder than ever. Yet, parts to fix AC units are back-ordered for months.

“It’s unprecedented we’ve never dealt with problems like this with the logistics getting parts into warehouses,” Ferris elaborated.

At Pleasant AC Service’s Warehouse off US-19 in Pinellas County, owner Arlen Zell is stocking up on whatever supplies he can get.

“As soon as we sell one unit, we order another one,” Zell explained adding that some units he ordered back in March just arrived in late July.

Zell says many of the factories that supply AC units and parts were shut down for COVID-19. Now, not all the employees at factories have returned to work and other parts are shipped from overseas. That’s in addition to copper shortages and refrigerant costs tripling. All of those factors are leading to big backups for service in Tampa Bay and across the nation.

“It’s everybody. It’s not like if we don’t have it in stock somebody else can get it. Everybody is going through the same problems. It’s really tough but we’re doing our best,” Zell elaborated.

AC companies are being told that parts could be in short supply through the rest of the year.

Local AC companies say if your AC unit is on the fritz, it’s important you call them right away because parts are taking between 1 month and 6 months to Tampa Bay.

For now, Zell, and the owners of dozens of other local companies are relying on portable units to keep customers cool as they wait for parts to come in. “Hopefully we can get them on the schedule as soon as possible,” Zell added.