CBS Austin featuring Abacus: As Summer looms, supply chain issues impact A/C repair materials

Abacus Austin was featured on a segment during CBS Austin’s evening news.

You can read and view their coverage here »

Ongoing issues with supply chains and worker vacancies are impacting one of Texas’ most vital necessities – Air Conditioning.

Rain and an occasional cool front made May’s weather in Central Texas milder than what Texans are typically used to. Now in June, sweltering heat looms, so HVAC technicians with ABACUS anticipate an influx of calls for repairs.

If a homeowner needs a drain line declogged in preparation for peak summer demand, A/C technicians won’t have any issues making the fix in a timely manner.

However, HVAC GM Vic Fredlund with ABACUS says manufacturers who make the parts for A/C units are struggling to maintain inventory.

If someone needs a new evaporator coil, the winter storm impacted copper production and distribution. The same applies for steel and aluminum for furnaces or the outdoor condensing units.

There’s also a stark need for workers on the distribution front, as trucking lines are struggling to get limited equipment across the country.

“It’s frustrating for the techs, it’s frustrating for all of us. You’re in the service industry because you want to provide a service,” said Fredlund.

The real estate boom in Austin which seemed to never fully slow down, even during the pandemic, is also playing a role in limiting materials needed for A/C repairs.

“When a vendor has an option to support a thousand pieces of equipment to a builder to get a subdivision developed, the easy decision is to provide that to that vendor and get that thousand pieces out rather than all the other repair facilities that are doing ten here and twenty here,” said Fredlund.

Wait times for A/C repairs depend on multiple factors like parts, distribution and labor to complete it, but estimates from some technicians range from 2-3 weeks for repairs involving hard-to-get-parts.

“When it involves (customers) personally, it can flare up in anger. At the very least it’s mild upset, disappointment, disheartening because they’re hot and they want comfort, we’ve all gotten used to being comfortable in our homes,” said Fredlund.