Shortage of supplies raising cost of air conditioners

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees once again Wednesday. That’s putting a strain on air conditioners, and those with a broken unit may have to wait for a much-needed repair. The pandemic forced plants to shut down last year and now manufacturers trying to catch up are struggling to get materials.

Workers at Colony Heating and Air Conditioning say a shortage in steel and copper has increased the prices of those materials by more than 15%. Because of that, some homeowners are paying a higher price than their initial quote. With heat driving demand, workers are slammed helping people cool off.

Brennan Mosley went from changing out furnaces to replacing air conditioners. He and his crew at Colony are putting in 60 hour weeks.

“We got 5 crews over here at Colony putting in 1 or 2 of these a day,” he said. “Even on Monday, we got emergency calls.”

Between the pandemic and people who waited to replace their air conditioners damaged during the derecho, they’re playing catch-up.

“People that don’t have air conditioning right now, people that have been waiting, we’ll try to get a few of them in if we get done early,” Mosley said.

Workers at Colony say the pandemic, mixed with natural disasters across the country, are causing a shortage. They also say some of their manufacturers down south need workers.

“They just can’t get enough workers to manufacture the products,” said P.J Kalb, who works sales with Colony. “It’s just a trickle-down effect that affects everybody, and obviously the end-user eventually.”

Mosley and his crew know some customers are heated about the increase. They hope prices cool down soon.

“We try to keep it as fair as possible,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep people cooling right now.”

Some homeowners are waiting a month to get their air conditioners replaced. Colony says there are things people can do such as making sure their filter is not dirty. Also, test out the air conditioner before it gets hot to make sure it works.

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