Scorching temperatures increase demand for HVAC businesses

LIVINGSTON — Air conditioning units weren’t a common appliance in Montana before, but this unusually hot summer has many residents desperate for them.

“We are now scheduling the December cleanup for still air conditioners,” said Diana Hillman of Graybeal’s All Service HVAC company.

Graybeal’s does everything from repairs to ac installations and with temperatures above average, phones ring off the hook.

“Desperation. I mean, people are extremely hot right now, and we feel for people because our job is to help people and we take care of people. We’re doing the best we can, and it’s not enough,” he said. Hillman.

Hillman says there have been multiple challenges for the HVAC business to overcome at a time when services are incredibly in demand.

“Right now it’s very hard to get air conditioners because some of our distributors are almost through, and it’s all because of last year with Covid and everything. You know it’s only now getting going again,” she said.

That and another all-too-familiar problem.

“We can use at least 4 full-time people at the moment who are earning very good wages, and the staff is not there. So we’re stretching as far as we can,” Hillman explained.

The heat is so unusual that it has created a year unlike any other for the company.

“Last year or the year before or the year before we had no problems like this. I’ve never seen us – I’ve been here for 6 years and I’ve never seen us outside for more than a month, a month and a half. And now we’re three and four months, and we’re pushing December now. Like I said, we’re planning for the air conditioners in December,” Hillman said.

Overheating can be a very serious medical problem, so if you are? experiencing symptoms, seek medical help.

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