CHENNAI: With the city bracing to endure another month or two of scaldling temperatures, air conditioners have become hot fare. However, it is not sales of ACs that have been soaring, but AC rentals.
According to the city’s AC servicing agents, who double up providing rental services during the summer months, April has seen a high rise in rentals with the month of May expected to see even more demand. The primary reason for the rise in rentals, they say, is due to the increase in the transient population. “We saw nearly 80 enquiries for AC rentals in just the past week,” said G Martin, manager at Venus Electronics in Pallavaram. “We had to turn all of them down since we no longer provide AC for rentals,” he added.
For bachelors and students, for whom it makes no sense to buy an AC for the few months they are going to use them, renting ACs is providing an easy way out for a vexing problem — how to escape the heat without shelling out Rs 20,000 and more for one. Manager of Caravan Appliances Pvt Ltd, S Subramaniam, says that renting ACs provide these people with all the advantages but none of the hassles. “The service we provide makes it easy for renters to get a malfunctioning AC replaced. If it were their own, they would have to wait upwards of ten days for a technician to repair it. We replace an AC in two days,” he pointed out.
But not all rent ACs from big companies like Caravan. It is small, cubby hole service centres, providing almost no extra services who form the large majority of the AC renting trade. But even here, the convenience in renting ACs more than cancels out the higher expense. A typical AC rental costs around Rs 1,000 per month for a window AC and Rs 1,500 a month for a split AC.
“It might be more expensive renting an AC in the long term, but these people just want them for a few months. Deciding who the AC belongs to when a group of room-mates purchase one is also a hassle they avoid when they rent ACs,” said Nagaraj Periasamy, of Blue Sky Air Conditioners.
For the servicemen who provide rentals, this surge in demand has proved to be goldmine. Most of these rental providers are small servicing agents with a ready stock of second hand ACs to rent out.
“We generally have some ACs that others have sold to us becuase they are outdated or did not work. All it takes is a few repairs and they are ready for rent,” pointed out Nagaraj. According to several AC rental services that Express spoke to, almost all of their available ACs have already been rented out. “We are actually arranging for more stock as demands keep coming in,” said Subramaniam.
And why wouldn’t it? When the mercury has already started hitting 38 degree centigrade on thermometers each day.
Get your AC for Rent
- AC rental prices (For a 1.5 ton cap AC)
- Window ACs: Rs 700 to Rs 1,000 (depending on age and electricity usage)
- Split ACs: Rs 1,500
- Surge in Enquires over March: 2x