A/C repair services turn to ebay and Amazon to find parts

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — Phones are ringing off the wall at heating and air conditioning repair services during the current stretch of hot weather. And technicians are staying very busy.

Ryan Matheny is president of Matheny Heating and Air Conditioning.

“Extremely, extremely. We are asking a lot of our customers just to have patience with us,” he said.

He said crews are working 12-to-18-hour shifts to make repairs. And supply chain problems are making it hard to find parts, causing customers to wait days or weeks for repairs to be completed.

Matheny said his company has had to get creative to find the parts they need.

“Believe it or not, we’ve had to resort to alternate methods when our wholesalers and distributors don’t have the parts. We’ve scoured the internet. We found parts on eBay. We found parts on Amazon,” he said.

Air conditioners at apartment buildings are also breaking down, raising questions about renters’ rights and a landlord’s responsibility to make timely repairs.

Will Jordan, executive director at Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council recommends renters check their lease to see if it spells out the landlord’s responsibilities for making repairs. Whether it does or not, he said the first thing to do if the air conditioner goes out is to inform the landlord immediately.

“It’s really up to the tenant to make contact immediately and in writing to the landlord to let them know about the air conditioner and request they come and repair it,” he said.

Missouri law gives the landlord up to 14 days to respond and make repairs. If you can’t wait because it’s too hot, you can get the repairs made or buy a window unit air conditioner. But the law only allows you to be reimbursed or reduce your rent up to $300 or half a month’s rent, whichever is greater.

If you plan to pay for it yourself, Jordan said to make sure of one thing.

“You’ve got to put it in writing,” he said.

You can only pay the cost yourself and get a rent reduction once out of a 12-month period.