Local company warns customers about rising air conditioning unit prices

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - If your air conditioning breaks this summer, it could cost you even more than usual to have it repaired or replaced.

Brian Schutt, co-owner of Homesense Heating and Cooling in Indianapolis, has been talking to his customers about more than just repairs lately. He said his company learned recently that the manufacturer it uses will raise prices six percent in July.

"The physical price of (an air conditioning) system will be three, four, five hundred plus more in July than it is this week in June," Schutt said.

The rise is related to recently implemented U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, which are used widely in the HVAC industry.

FOX59 spoke to two economists about the price increases, both of whom said they were not surprised to hear about Schutt's rising cost.

David Hummels, the Dean of Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, called this a "canary in a coal mine," as he expects the prices of many other items to increase in the months to come.

Kyle Anderson, an economist and professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business at IUPUI, agreed. Anderson said that prices will rise regardless of whether a company is based in the U.S. or overseas.

"As soon as that tax hits, the prices are going to go up and that’s true of goods that we import but also for domestic goods as well," Anderson said.

In the short-term, Anderson said consumers may not notice the change because it will rise only pennies on smaller items and bigger items are not as easy to compare for the average American.

"If it's something like a washer or driver, you don't buy that often," Anderson said.

You may hear about the changes from people like Schutt, who are in direct contact with customers. He said that for now, he's locking in prices for current customers and trying to speak with his clients about the upcoming change.

"Pricing adjustments are not rare, but mid-season and at this level, it's definitely more than we've ever seen," Schutt said.