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Demand for air conditioners in Richmond heats up as mercury expected to rise

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The demand to get air conditioners installed is skyrocketing in Richmond – especially as the temperature is expected to rise dramatically this weekend.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Metro Vancouver, forecasting above-average temperatures this weekend in the first hot stretch of the year on the south coast.

Daytime highs are expected to rise into the low 30s inland with overnight lows dipping down to the mid-teens.

Some Richmondites have been complaining they hadn't seen enough sunshine this June yet, while others are trying to get cooling systems in place before the heat arrives.

"We've never seen this much demand for (both air conditioners and heat pumps),” said Kent Yung, marketing manager of Ashton Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Richmond. “People have been asking for them non-stop since last summer basically.”

However, the ongoing global supply chain issues means it’s going to be difficult to get them for everyone, noted Yung.

Those people who ordered several months ago will be getting ACs and heat pumps, but many people are on a waitlist, Yung explained.

In addition to the expected hot temperatures, Yung said government rebates have also played a role in triggering "incredible demand" from people.

According to BC Hydro, up to $7,000 in combined rebates are available to replace an electric heating system with a heat pump (a machine that both heats and cools the air).

This includes up to $2,000 from BC Hydro and up to $5,000 from the federal government's Canada Greener Homes Grant.

"We have never seen rebates this high before from the government supporting the installation of ACs and heat pumps," added Yung.

Meanwhile, the city's cooling centres, public libraries and community centres will be open during regular hours for people who want to drop in to cool off, Mayor Malcolm Brodie told the Richmond News.

And, if the temperature keeps rising, the hours of these public facilities will be extended and the number of cooling places increased, Brodie added.

Visit the city's website to learn more about the city's cooling centres and cooling tips.

-With files from Vancouver is Awesome

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