‘I feel bad for customers’: AC parts in short supply during record-breaking heat

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Experts say the lifespan of an air conditioning unit is around 15 years and right now, people are finding themselves in situations where a unit goes out, can’t be repaired, and they are stuck without air conditioning for weeks because of supply chain issues.

Mustafa Abdul, the owner of Jaguar Heating and Air, works hard to maintain his five-star rating on Yelp, and it frustrates him when he can’t deliver what customers need, especially during a summer of record-breaking temperatures.

“I feel bad for customers,” Abdul said. “I feel like I’m letting people down.”

The issues Mustafa’s company is experiencing are industry-wide.

“We have a problem with supplies in general,” he said. “Customers are requesting a new AC to put in. We don’t have it. We’re telling them we’re out.”

He can get the parts for an installation but said it takes time and the wait to have a whole system replaced is about three weeks right now.

“We have been calling the supplier houses every day: What’s going on? What’s going on? Shipment is not available,” Abdul explained. “Factories are not working at full capacity because they have a shortage of employees. Raw materials are not coming from China.”

Viewers told FOX40 they’ve been having similar experiences with other HVAC companies.

In emails and tweets, one said, “We called over 10 places that had over a week delay on repairs.”

Another told FOX40, “Yes, we need to replace the entire HVAC system as it is now 15+ years old. We won’t get the new one installed till the end of July as (the HVAC contractor) has so many other jobs in the works.”

And a third said, “We’re racing to have ours replaced before it dies.”

“This has really been very tough on us because customers are not getting what they want,” Abdul said.

HVAC companies have had to raise prices because the cost of the heavily-in-demand materials keeps rising.

“We gave a lot of estimates, for example, a year ago,” Abdul explained. “Customers saved for the equipment, trying to pull the trigger, trying to replace it. But the price increased about 35% from last year.”

Abdul said his company is prioritizing installations where health and safety are at stake.

“We had calls from elderly people. Over 85 years old, over 90 years old,” He explained. “And the temperature in their houses is between 85 and 90. So we put some rush on these calls.”

Abdul said he has installed temporary window units to get some customers through the excessive heat while they wait, and he says he’s offered to pay for hotel rooms for some people in desperate situations.

“We got to be creative,” he explained. ”I’m doing everything I can, in my hands, to help people. But you get to the point: we have no materials, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

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