LUBBOCK, Texas — Local experts in energy usage and air conditioning said Thursday now is the best time to prepare for high temperatures.

If you need a new A/C unit or if your current unit needs maintenance, prices will only increase in the next year.

“Inflation is hitting our industry tremendously,” said Mark Branscome, the operations manager of Lowery Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

He said inflation has caused manufacturers to raise prices by nearly 25% since last spring.

Branscome said suppliers of A/C units, coolants and refrigerants have 12 to 70 weeklong waiting periods.

“So, a year and a half on some things we’re just going to have to wait on,” he stated. “When you have that much demand and that little supply, your prices are going to spike.”

Branscome said the best thing you can do is take care of the systems already in place.

Matt Rose, the spokesperson for Lubbock Power & Light, said any energy-saving efforts you take to make your house and A/C unit more efficient would help your cost.

Older units use more energy and cost more because they work harder than newer units.

“Make sure that [it] at least operates as well as that older system can. If you have the ability, I would suggest thinking about something new. It’s not going to get cheaper down the road,” Branscome suggested.

Rose said closing curtains and cleaning air filters can make it easier for cooler air to permeate the house.

“Adjust your thermostat up 6 to 8 degrees when you leave in the morning,” Rose added.

Even if your routine stays the same, LP&L said, it’s likely your energy bills will be higher in the coming weeks and months.

LP&L emphasized its prices have not changed since 2017, and a higher bill means your energy usage has increased.

“You just need to plan for it,” Rose said.

To learn about how you can reduce the costs of your energy bills, see LP&L’s Powerful Pointers.