Hawaii air conditioning companies warn of delay, price increase as summer approaches

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Summer is right around the corner and conditions are expected to get hotter.

Air conditioning companies in Hawaii are letting people know COVID-19 has impacted their industry as well.

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“There is a huge shortage, not only on parts but also on equipment it’s kind of a perfect storm we’ve never seen this ever in the HVAC industry,” explained Glen Kozuma, Admor HVAC sales and purchasing executive. “With containers that can’t be offloaded at LA as well as Long Beach, there’s thousands of containers at one time sitting there, also with the shortage with truck drivers and trucking it kind of created this perfect storm trying to get materials, parts, anything any commodity from international places to get to the United States, so with that manufacturing can’t produce things, they don’t have the right components.”

He said HVAC units go down and the parts can take months to arrive if they are not available.

“We’ve seen lead times from up to 12 weeks, and that’s not including shipping to Hawaii,” he continued.

He said it started in fall 2020 so he ordered supplies while he could. Hawaii Air Conditioning, located on Hawaii Island, did the same.

“We have a lot here in stock that we’re able to use for our customers but it’s not a perfect situation because it’s not every or all of the types of the units we install,” explained co-owner Ilene Harrington.

Copper parts and microchips are hard to come by and Kozuma said it is driving the price for AC units up by nearly 50%.

“All the air conditioners have copper coils, so copper went through the roof in regards to price, and air conditioners these days is like a big computer there’s a lot of boards, pieces that go with it and if they can’t get the microchips they can’t get the boards, they can’t manufacture the parts to replace,” Kozuma explained.

He said some window units that cost $500 in summer 2020 now cost about $800. Parts and equipment he ordered in January have not arrived as of June.

Several companies said they are slammed with installing air conditioning units and some are booked through the summer.

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