Mild Summer Cuts Need for A/C, Business for Companies

Mild Summer Cuts Need for A/C, Business for Companies

A/C repair companies say this summer's cool temperatures are keeping customers away.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- While many Arkansans are enjoying this year's unseasonably cool summer, it's costing some local businesses tens of thousands of dollars.

July 2014 was the coldest in over 100 years, helping make this summer one of the worst some servicemen have had in over a decade. 

Tuesday saw temperatures in the mid 80's with low humidity. Even an island couple showed appreciation for Arkansas' picture perfect weather. 

"This is better than Hawaii, it hasn't been nearly as humid as it is in Hawaii" says Maggie Snyder, taking engagement pictures in the River Market. 

"This summer has been one of the best ones we've had so far, it's been amazing," says Paige Walters, enjoying the cool temperatures in the River Market.

If it's your job to keep people cool, you might have a different opinion.

"No, it's not a nice day," says Rick Ellis. "I want it to be 95 at night, 105 heat index during the day. I want your wife to be as hot as it can get so she could sell the unit herself."

This unseasonably mild summer is making Ellis and other A/C repairmen sweat. 

"The phone don't ring very much, a lot of speculation you're going to make it for the winter maybe you need to get a job doing something else to support your family," Ellis adds. He owns Extreme Heating & Cooling.

Ellis says his Cabot business is down 50 to 60 percent compared to last year, a drastic cut in service calls for his employees.

"Some are just making ends meet and some are getting electricity turned off," he says. 

Business is so slow, manufacturers like Goodman chopped this summer's inventory of A/C parts by nearly 60 percent. 

"I can't put people in headlocks and tell them to come in and buy products," says manager Jerry Johnson.

Like Johnson, Ellis holds out hope the state's fickle forecast will change any day now.

"We're just praying for a hot summer," he says.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Of about one dozen local companies, while the majority said they were unusually slow, there were a few big and small businesses that said they're enjoying the weather too and business is going well.

Ellis says the slump is good news for consumers and a good time for many to call. Not only are people saving money by running their air conditioning less, he says there is more competition for jobs and companies may bid lower to get business. 
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