Heat leaves neighbors frustrated with HVAC companies’ timelines to repair air conditioners

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Some residents say it’s taking days and weeks in some cases to get an HVAC company to fix broken air conditioning units, leaving hundreds of Georgia residents living in the heat.

“It feels like, basically, I’m living outside,” said Derrick Pitts, who is living without air conditioning.

Pitts says his family, including a 1-year-old, has been living like this during the hottest week on record for 2022.

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“This fan right here, and this is where I have to put my daughter at when she’s sleeping,” Pitts said.

He’s one of thousands of metro Atlanta residents living without air conditioning.

“I’ve put in work orders,” he said.

“Anytime we get a heat wave, we always have a massive influx in calls,” said Andrew Navarro, HVAC manager at R.S. Andrews.

Navarro said since the start of this heat wave, they’ve been inundated with “anywhere between 700 and 900 calls a day,” he said.

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The increase for air conditioning repairs is typical during hot periods, but pandemic-related understaffing plays a part in mechanical part delays.

“A lot of this stuff is still on back order for months,” he said.

Navarro said the call volume this heat wave has brought, has resulted in longer wait times.

“Right now we’re looking at about a week,” he said.

ChanneI 2 spoke with several metro area HVAC companies, and all said because of the demand it can take anywhere between three to ten days to respond to a request.

“Anytime we have an opening in the schedule, we do move them up forward,” Navarro said.

Pitts says he’s been waiting for more than a week to have his air conditioning fixed at the Clarkston Station Apartments.

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Channel 2 reached out to management to get a status on the fix, but they said no comment.

“That’s not acceptable,” Pitts said.

Navarro says most home air conditioning systems aren’t designed to keep up with temperatures that reach above 92 degrees, and with triple-digit temps on the way, it definitely puts a strain on units.

“When it starts getting hotter than that, systems are not going to keep up,” Navarro said. “Whenever we have a heat wave like this, there’s no company in Atlanta that’s going to be able to staff for the short time frame that we have.”

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