Suppliers run low on home units – RUSH FOR ACs

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THIRST QUENCHER: Mr Jack of J & K Snow Cones gives three-year-old Kyrie Richards and Jenesi Lorde, 11, snow cones to beat the heat on Upper Frederick Street, Port of Spain on September 15. – FILE PHOTO

AS TT continues to battle sweltering heat, the importers of major air conditioning brands such as Lennox, Coleman, Green Energy and Infiniti have reported that several of their standard residential units are sold out.

Many have taken to social media in the past weeks to complain about the unbearable heat and are now opting to install air conditioning units (a/c) in their homes instead of only depending on electric fans.

Koolmax Ltd are the sole importers of the Lennox, Pioneer, Infiniti and Comfee AC brands.

A senior representative from the company told Newsday the 18,000 BTU, 24,000 BTU, 36,000 BTU and 60,000 BTU standard units are currently out of stock.

He joked that a concert could be held in the company’s warehouse, given how scarce stocks currently are.

He said there has been an increase in demand and sales for both standard and inverter units across the country.

“It’s difficult because you’re dealing with disgruntled customers and basically asking yourself what could have been done better,” he said.

But he added, “Nobody could have planned for this (hot spell).”

He said a lot of people cannot cope with the increased temperatures so they have no choice but to have a/c installed.

Allan Julien, group president of marketing, sales and business development at the Coleman Group of Companies, said their 18,000 BTU, 24,000 BTU and 36,000 BTU units are all sold out.

He is also the managing director of Alpha Air Conditioning Ltd.

“And it’s not only us. Other suppliers have been calling us too, asking if we have any stock,” he said.

Coleman imports the Genesco, Green Energy and Coleman brands – which it owns – in addition to Comfort Star and Innovair.

“The demand has increased substantially…Our Facebook page is going crazy with messages right now.”

He, too, said sales have also increased when it comes to the inverter units, which he recommends as in the long run, it saves on consumers’ electricity bills.

The company also imports portable a/c units, which are going fast as well, with only six remaining.

Julien said the only other recent time he saw this type of sales increase was during the first few months of the pandemic.

With so many people being forced to stay at home, he said many then realised just how hot their homes are.

“Generally, people aren’t in their own house from 9 am-5 pm. So when covid19 came about and they had no choice, they wanted the additional comfort.”

Both men have been in this business for over a decade and have not seen anything like this.

Neither company has increased its prices amid the high demand.

Newsday also tried to contact Peake Technologies Ltd but calls went unanswered.

The Met Office recently announced a hot spell alert, saying extremely hot conditions would be felt from September 15-29.

It warned that there is an 80 per cent probability that temperatures near 34 degrees C or greater would be felt across Trinidad, with conditions in Tobago near 32.5 C or higher.

It added that “feel-like temperatures” will likely range between 34 and 44 C, with the highest of these temperatures to be felt between 10 am and 4 pm.

In August, the TT Electricity Commission (T&TEC) recorded its highest-ever consumer electricity demand of 1,400.2 megawatts owing to the unusually high temperatures.

The Health Ministry has warned members of the public to protect themselves against the current high temperatures. It said heated conditions can be dangerous, and people must take the necessary precautions, including staying hydrated and looking out for signs of heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion.