Hot, humid and sultry weather is an inevitable fact of life on many summer days in central Pennsylvania and that can translate to robust sales of air conditioners.
"The heat hasn't really started to hit yet, but we are still seeing them (air conditioners) go out the door," Rick Wertz, store manager at Sears in the Lycoming Mall recently reported.
Days that bring high humidity, he said, often bring the customers into the store looking to buy air conditioners. And a good three-day heat wave is often what it takes for sales to take off. As yet, the local area has yet to experience any kind of sustained period of hot weather.
Sales Manager Patty Maule, left, and Assistant Manager Matt Welty, right, talk about some of the features of air conditioners for sale at Beiters in South Williamsport.
Nevertheless, Matt Bower, a salesman at Beiter's, South Williamsport, said the store has sold a surprising number of air conditioners, despite the weather.
"It started in mid to late May for sales," he said.
But usually, the air conditioners really start selling following a prolonged heat wave.
"We are ready," he said.
Norwood Frederick, of Lycoming Heating Co., said sales were starting to pick up during the month. He noted that there are two kinds of air conditioner customers.
"There are people with foresight and people without foresight," he said. "Some people put off buying last summer and waited until now. They still remember how hot it got last summer."
Wertz said his store typically sells more units in July and August.
And if the weather heats up, there can be a lot of customers.
"You can't keep them in stock then," he said.
Others noted that the hot, humid days also mean a lot of calls for air conditioner service calls.
A spokeswoman with Quality Air Mechanical, South Williamsport, noted that the phone rings off the hook on those days.
"We aren't too far into it (summer)," she said. "We got a late start. We haven't really had a heat wave. We'll get more calls further into summer."
Bower said it's really the consistent hot weather that's needed to make air conditioners sell.
"We've been selling dehumidifiers with all the wet weather," he said. "It's been one of the better years for them."