Aircon shortage in heatwave turns out to be an uncool reality

PETALING JAYA - A major shortage of air conditioners is fanning the frustration for many seeking relief from the hot weather.

Those selling the devices say it is mostly the popular brands that are in short supply.

The president of the Malaysian Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Association, Datuk Seri Dr Ricky Yaw, said the supply problem was being experienced nationwide.

"Yes, the problem of air-conditioning unit shortage is happening," he confirmed.

He said this situation had been going on for around two to three months but he promised that there would be a resolution.

"The manufacturers have stated that they are trying to speed up production," he said.

He advised buyers to be patient, adding that they should not be too picky with air-conditioning brands.

Joanne Lee, sales executive for Thiam Seng Electrical Trading, said the shortage started after Chinese New Year with one major air-conditioning company announcing that supply would be delayed due to production issues.

"Many of our customers want their devices changed as overheating and overuse during the hot weather has damaged their units. But, this is quite hard to do as we do not have new air conditioners to sell," she said.

Lee, however, said supply was expected to return to normal next month.

Sales executive Jun Lu from One Living Sdn Bhd said the shortage had become a big problem as it was the popular brands that were short in supply.

"Nine out of 10 people who come into the store want to buy air-conditioning units," he said.

Lu urged customers to consider air-cooling devices from other brands.