The sudden heat wave that has overtaken Tucson in May tested the summer-readiness of residential air conditioning equipment for what has been so far a particularly hot season, interspersed with violent monsoons. This season has also been testing the readiness of local A/C companies, small and big.
On average, Tucsonans did not have to wait longer for our technicians to come repair their air conditioner
The heat wave of end-May, early June took us all by surprise. Within a week of the temperatures rising quickly to the 100°F mark, our hotline was receiving dozens of calls per day; HVAC systems suddenly cranked up to the max started to give up. According to our Customer Service Manager: “Tucson has rarely seen such a jump in the number of failing A/Cs.”
According to the National Centers for Environmental Information: “With a mean monthly temperature of 71.8°F (22.1°C) Tucson, AZ observed its third hottest April (2.6°F; 1.4°C above average) since records started in 1895.”
In May, the average monthly temperature in Arizona reached 104°F, and our State saw less than 5% of normal precipitation. This has been a dry May.
The monsoons started in July with a bang, with multiple microbursts wreaking havoc on Tucson roofs.
Our call center received once again a flood of calls due to the change in weather from extremely high to extremely humid, and the stress exerted on air conditioners.
Every time temperatures rise rapidly, or humidity becomes abnormal for our region, HVAC systems come under stress.
A flood of emergency calls creates a critical issue: scheduling delays for HVAC repairs.
As air conditioning companies face technical staff shortage, Tucsonans can find themselves waiting longer to get help.
Bigger operators like D&H have the staff necessary to respond within reasonable time, but even them had a hard time facing the number of calls, and the complexity of the breakdowns.
Considering that a major issue in a residential air conditioner can take 30 minutes to an hour to diagnose and several hours to fix (when a critical component has failed, such as the blower motor, or an evap coil, or even electronic circuitry), a large number of failures occurring all at once will create a daunting challenge for the call centers.
And as to the small operators, the “2-Chucks-and-a-Truck”, they simply don’t have the manpower to respond to every call and service every customer. Considering the critical necessity of cooling a home in summer in Tucson, this situation is a real problem for these operators and the homeowners they serve.
This is not a new issue by any stretch of the imagination: it occurred in the same way in 2020, although average temperatures in May did not reach the same historical record. This year, the weather has been particularly hard on AC units, and the problem has been compounded by the logistical nightmare of the supply chain breakdowns due to the aftermath of Covid-19. It has become extremely difficult to find certain parts for certain types of units as manufacturers can’t source raw materials to build them, or their plants have operated at decreased capacity for such a long time that their order book is extremely backlogged.
When parts become harder to source, only the big local A/C operators that carry a deep inventory of parts can face the volume of demand. Even at D&H, one of the larger air conditioning companies in Tucson, we have had more difficulties finding all the parts we needed as our own stocks was hard-hit by the peak in failures.
But we managed to keep customers happy…
Our springtime hiring season prepared D&H for the summer rush. Continuous technical training also helped our team to keep up with the demand by repairing air conditioners even more efficiently.
Training is key to shortening the time needed to diagnose and repair an A/C unit, and bring it back into service. Our technicians have been brilliant this summer: faced with complex failures, they have served our customers promptly and, in most cases, on time. Continuous training is one of the advantages HVAC technicians working at the larger local operators have over their colleagues working for smaller outfits.
At D&H, we work on all aspects of service: from keeping up with technical evolution of HVAC and the introduction of more and more control electronics in systems, to safety procedures, to how our technicians treat our customers and their homes from the moment their appointment is scheduled.
Quality of customer interaction has become a key part of service, and even more since Covid-19. Our HVAC specialists are fully aware of health concerns of homeowners, and minimize the number of “in-person contact minutes” to limit any discomfort customers might experience in having a third party in their home during this trying times. Likewise, customers expect a better predictability of technical appointments: we have devised an entirely new system of scheduling under which our technicians now update clients directly as the time of their appointment approaches.
For Tucsonans affected by delays in service scheduling, D&H offers a faster and more capable technical service.
Call us at 520-664-3699 to benefit from top quality, speedy HVAC service. Don’t wait any longer for an HVAC technician inspect and, if necessary, repair your air conditioner.
NOTE: Be aware that D&H offers a very advantageous maintenance plan (the Family Maintenance Plan) under which you receive two scheduled technical visits each year (spring and fall) to keep your A/C fully maintained to manufacturer specifications, preserve your manufacturer warranties, and save money on parts and labor when a repair becomes necessary due to wear and tear. We can’t insist enough on the necessity to keep your air conditioning system clean and well-maintained, as the lack of maintenance is the first reason why an HVAC system will fail prematurely and cost much more than planned in parts and repairs. Consider asking our technician about D&H’s Family Maintenance Plan: you will be surprised at how affordable it is, and how advantageous it will be for your household.