UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Heating and air conditioning companies in the Charlotte area are seeing major increases in demand with temperatures this week hovering in the mid and upper 90s.
What You Need To Know
HVAC companies say regular maintenance is the best way to prevent major issues in the hot summer months
Service calls are up across the region for repairs and replacement units
Typical wait times are 1-2 days for repair appointments, 2-3 weeks for replacement units
Wednesday, two Union County companies’ calls for service were running a day or two out, with unit replacement appointments running anywhere from two to three weeks from the scheduling call.
Byrum Heating & AC said it had technicians working from sunrise to sunset to make service calls, usually about 25 to 30 a day.
“I get calls every day from our service department and our install department wanting to ... see if we can fit some more customers in for the day. Our service guys, they’re normally running from daylight to dark, basically, on days like this. So, it can be a little bit of a challenge trying to keep up with the demand,” said Scott Byrum, the general manager of Byrum Heating.
Byrum started the company 25 years ago and said the busy season usually picks up in late April through August.
“We usually stay booked out. Our installs are booked out right now for three weeks. And, service department’s pretty full for this week. And so that creates its own challenge in trying to take care of our customers and get their AC back going. It’s smoking hot outside,” Byrum added.
One of his sales representatives, Justin Carpenter, has been working at the family business since 2009. Byrum is his brother-in-law.
“We’re busy year round, but this is what you would call the homeowner panic season,” Carpenter joked.
Given this week’s high temperatures, Carpenter said homeowners start to notice issues with their air conditioning units, or they stop working entirely. So, he said it is no surprise phones at Byrum Heating & AC are ringing off the hook.
“Anytime it’s 91, 96, 97 degrees, that’s when your units are going to struggle the most,” Carpenter explained.
Byrum and Carpenter said the most common issues they see are maintenance-related and urge people to regularly service their air conditioners twice a year. As Carpenter said, when it is this hot the key is to keep your cool.
“I don’t like to see nobody hot. A lot of people are aggravated this time of year, just like I would be if I got home without any air conditioning. So, I just make sure I keep my cool, be understanding, be compassionate toward people, put myself in their shoes,” Carpenter said.
Byrum Heating & AC usually has three to four replacement appointments a day with those appointments taking about three weeks to schedule. Calls for service are running, at most, a day or two after the original call. For comparison, in cooler months like March, Byrum said they usually can replace a unit in three to four days and respond to service calls almost immediately.
His is not the only business seeing a significant increase in demand due to the heat wave.
Helms Heating & Air Conditioning in Indian Trail is getting 40 to 50 calls for service a day, according to service manager Jamie Griffin.
Griffin said the calls started in earnest on Monday and have continued with the week’s high temperatures. He said they are also making two to four unit replacement appointments a day. Replacement unit appointments are running about two weeks after the original call is made, Griffin added.
Griffin said a new unit for a residential property can start at anywhere from $5,500 to $6,500, depending on size and complexity of the unit. However, a regular maintenance plan costs around $150 for two service appointments each year. He urged homeowners to consider a maintenance program.
“Definitely, maintenance is priority,” Griffin said over the phone.
His advice sounded similar to the folks at Byrum Heating & AC.
“I would say just get a good, reputable company to come sign them up on a maintenance agreement and let the company come out and do what they do. I mean, they’re professionals at what they do and let them keep your unit. I mean you wouldn’t drive your car for 10 years without getting oil changed, and it’s kind of the same way with air conditioning,” Byrum said.
Griffin also wanted to remind homeowners air conditioning units are designed to keep inside spaces about 20 degrees cooler than the outdoors. So, he said not to be surprised if it is running consistently throughout the day with temperatures outside in the upper 90s.