Stretch your Dollar: Finding an AC unit amid shortages, price spikes before temperatures rise

Stretch Your Dollar

(GMA) — When temperatures go up, so do air conditioning unit sales. But an increase in demand this year may go beyond seasonal spikes.

Many air conditioning manufacturers point to COVID-related production slowdowns, a worldwide shortage of semiconductors, and even the texas freeze that has copper and plastic piping supplies in unprecedented demand.

Mike Donley with Donley AC & Plumbing said, “We’re seeing a lot of raw materials shortages and price increases. So copper, aluminum, steel — all of those go into air conditioners.”

And if you can find one, prices have increased too. The units themselves are now 3-9% more expensive. And installers are pinched on piping and materials, reporting anecdotally 15% increases for consumers.

Ken Simonson, the Chief Economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, said. “With the boom in home building that’s going on for the past year, as well as a lot of commercial buildings and schools upgrading their heating and ventilation and cooling systems. There’s been this tremendous demand for air conditioning equipment.”

Experts say to order now. If you’re even thinking about getting AC, consider stand-alone or ductless units, which will save you money on electricity costs. And even if you already own an AC unit, turn it on now and listen to make sure it sounds alright and is actually producing cool air. Scheduling an HVAC tune-up visit now could save you weeks of sweating it out later this summer.

It’s not just AC units. ABC News is also reporting a bike shortage. Standard bikes are on backorder for 30-45 days, and some of the fancier bikes have a wait time of up to six months.

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