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Shortage of air conditioning units and parts hits Lincoln

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Once we hit those temperatures in the mid to upper 90s, there’s almost never a time we won’t have our A/C running, but a new nationwide shortage of A/C parts and units is starting to flow to Lincoln, with companies telling homeowners they could expect delays.

Materials like steel, aluminum, copper and plastic are harder to find nowadays. “We’re hearing that they’re four to five weeks out,” said Kevin Hanley with Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing, Co. This shortage is something Bryant said might make it take longer to get your A/C fixed if it goes out.

“As a company, we went ahead, even before the season hit, and did a large order to try and project this,” Hanley said.

Bryant said their technicians are out on between 40 and 90 calls a day around this time.

“We usually see units being slightly low on refrigerant, causing the unit to ice up, preventing air flow and cooling in the house,” said Jesse Mullen, service technician with Bryant.

In order to fix these issues, technicians said they need to have the parts, many of which right now are on back order.

When they would typically arrive in a day or two, Bryant said now it’s sometimes taking weeks to get in, causing companies to have to change how they order parts.

“If we have to in order to fulfill that need for the customer, are there other brands out there that we can supply?” questioned Hanley.

We’ve been hearing all throughout the pandemic about shortages in skilled trade workers and truck drivers nationwide, all of which a/c companies tell us are affecting how long it may take Lincoln customers to get their A/C units fixed.

“Each supply house really only has their specific units and brands that they operate with. There’s only so much we can do as far as venturing out and looking for those parts,” said Mullen.

Hanley adds, “Believe me, we’re all doing as much as we can. We never want to tell you that you have to stay in a hot home without any kind of comfort during an extended period of time.”

Companies like Bryant say right now, it’s helpful if customers have patience and understanding since this shortage in parts is pushing some projects weeks behind schedule.

Experts said there are some things homeowners can do now to prevent future issues. They advise making sure your outside A/C unit is clean from things like grass clippings and cotton, and changing your air filter every month can help.

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