SINGAPORE: Amid the blazing weather in recent weeks, air-conditioner retailers and servicing firms are seeing a surge in business – with some unable to meet the strong demand from customers.
Singapore experienced its hottest May day on record earlier this month, with temperatures hitting 36.7 degrees Celsius at Admiralty.
At the start of April, the mercury also reached 36.8 degrees in the same area, just a shade below the highest temperature ever recorded in Singapore – 37 degrees Celsius in Tengah in 1983.
Air-conditioner servicing firm EconCool told CNA it has seen a 37 per cent increase in enquiries and bookings this quarter, compared to the first quarter of the year.
Most requests are for maintenance, but demand for the installation of air-conditioning units has also grown considerably, said the firm’s spokesperson, adding that the requests are for both homes and workspaces.
“Maybe with the hot weather, they decide: Okay this space also needs an air-con,” she said, adding that the easing of COVID-19 restrictions may have also played a part in boosting business.
“We’re very grateful that business has been booming. I mean, we’re of course sorry for the fact that it’s very hot, but honestly, in a business mind, it has been a blessing in disguise.”
Servicing firm ServiceAircon.SG said it now gets about 20 enquiries a day, double compared to just a few months ago.
“Definitely, the weather plays a huge part,” said its director Ler Jun Hui.
“Nowadays we’re unable to cater to demand. We have to turn some of them away, because we cannot handle or overpromise.”
To meet demand, the firm is looking to add more technicians to its current team of fewer than 10 workers.
“I was quite surprised that after (hiring more) technicians, already we’re at full capacity again, so we’re hiring again,” said Mr Ler.
WORK-FROM-HOME ALSO A FACTOR
For 338 Aircon Singapore, business for April and May has swelled 30 per cent, compared to the previous two months. It is also 20 per cent higher than in the same period a year ago.
While the weather has played a part in this, a more significant factor could be the work-from-home phenomenon, said the firm’s manager, who wanted to be known only as Mr Pang.
In the past, a household may have only used the air-conditioner in the bedroom and occasionally, in the study, he said.
“But now once they work from home, one in living room, one in study room, end up they use more air-con.
“When you use more, then chances of it breaking down is higher, or the chances of you finding it’s not cold is higher.”