Need a new air conditioning unit? Be prepared to wait two months

Ahead of this weekend’s scorching temperatures, air conditioning companies are already feeling the heat from customers.

Three different air conditioning companies told KIRO 7 they’re booked up until mid-August. They said repairs are also taking upward of two weeks to get done.

“We’re working our tails off every day. Certain crews have been doing six-day weeks for multiple weeks on end,” said Craig Olson with Washington Energy Services.

Even in these hot conditions, Olson added that the Puget Sound is still the largest area in the country with the fewest number of air conditioners.

Only 35% of homes have air conditioning in the Seattle area. That compares to 70% of homes in Portland.

As a result, there is suddenly chaos in the quest to stay cool ahead of record-breaking heat.

“It’s a quality of life,” said Charles Hassa, a new air conditioning user in Arlington. “It’s how you sleep at night and how clean your air is, and everyone being happy.”

To make sure your air conditioner doesn’t malfunction when you need it the most, Olson said you should change your air filters regularly.

He added that you should schedule yearly maintenance checkups on your machines.

“We always say maintaining is cheaper than repairing, and both are cheaper than replacing,” Olson told KIRO 7.

For Washington Energy Services, there’s been an 80% spike in installations compared to the pre-pandemic days.

Given the current backlog, Olson said people should have new air conditioning units installed during slower months of the year, mainly between November and February.