Recent California heatwaves have produced hundreds of calls to HVACR companies for inspections and repairs. Amidst this unprecedented demand, companies are finding themselves increasingly shorthanded. One company owner-reported over 200 calls in a single day. “It’s the perfect storm,” he said. “Soaring temperatures, high demand, not enough workers.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that climate patterns are significantly different from preceding years. Temperatures are more often hitting the 100-degree mark and more. The extreme heat is arriving earlier in the season than expected. It lasts for extended periods, leaving many customers with HVAC units that have yet to be inspected or repaired. What’s more, areas that typically use little to no air conditioning suddenly require relief from the recent heatwaves
According to the CDC, due to climate change, the frequency and duration of extreme heat events will continue in the future, making the role of HVACR professionals more critical than ever before. Extreme heat endangers human health in many ways, with symptoms such as cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Sustained heat, or a heatwave, over several days endangers lives, particularly those of the elderly, the homeless, the very young, and those without access to air conditioning. Stable and efficient climate control is no longer a luxury—it’s often a matter of life or death.
One plan to keep people safe and comfortable during extreme heat events is to establish and maintain community cooling centers. This low-cost strategy is proving effective in reducing heat-related morbidity and mortality and no doubt will continue to expand throughout affected communities. The population will count on HVAC professionals to keep the centers running.
Unfortunately, the HVACR industry has suffered from a labor shortage, even pre-pandemic, increasing the industry’s number one concern. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2018) projects employment of HVACR mechanics and installers will increase 15% from 2016 to 2026, over twice the national average for all jobs. It’s clear that the HVACR industry has room for growth and advancement for certified professionals in job opportunities and career paths going forward.”