Heat wave and pandemic leading to supply chain issues

Air conditioning and pool industries struggling to keep up with demand

Brendan Keany
July 07, 2020 - 6:19 am
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    BUFFALO (WBEN) - This could be a record-setting week of heat in Western New York, as temperatures will continue to flirt with the lower 90's humidity levels will increase along the way.

    In order to beat the heat, many residents will be turning toward their air conditioning units or jumping in a pool - so much so that the industries are actually experiencing a tightening of the supply chain.

    "For swimming pools, we are sold out for the year," said Todd Schupbach of Gary Pools & Leisure. "We've got another truckload coming in, and all of those are sold. Our hot tubs have sold out everything in stores, and I've got another seven truckloads coming on that stuff.

    "I've been doing this for 44 years, and while we have had heat waves throughout that time with people running in and wanting to get a pool, we have never been in a sold-out position, especially this early in the season," he continued.

    Listen to Schupbach's full comments below:

    Vastola Heating & Cooling's Dan DeMarco says they're in the same position.

    "The heating/cooling industry is a very weather-driven business for the replacement side/service side," said DeMarco. "When you do get this high heat weather, the equipment is running a lot harder which then causes it to fail more, so you'll see about a 50% increase in the service and even in the replacement for people looking for new equipment."

    Both Schupbach and DeMarco point to a combination of factors - of course the heat wave - but also the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons why the industries are finding it trouble to keep up with demand.

    "Demand between the weather and the stay-at-home mentality has just inundated all of the manufacturers," said Schupbach. "They can't keep up with the demand, so you've got really, really long lead times."

    "The equipment is getting a little challenging because of COVID-19," added DeMarco. "A lot of plants - when we did run into problems, they had to shut down for a while, so the equipment is a little bit light at the suppliers, which we're seeing a little bit of a lag of actually getting our equipment to do the installs."

    Listen to DeMarco's full comments below:

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