As summer comes to an end, businesses that provide home heating and air conditioning are starting to pivot from selling and repairing AC units, to selling and repairing heating systems. With people staying at home more during the summer due to COVID-19, proper AC became even more important than usual: “It’s been a busy summer,” says Bjorn Finseth, owner of Bjorn’s Heating & Air Conditioning. “Our sales have gone up. That’s kind of weird.”

John’s Heating & Air Conditioning has also seen a busy summer, although they were closed at the very beginning of the pandemic shutdown. “For the first two weeks, when they announced it, they had shut down here, but ever since then we’ve been going business as usual,” says Laurie Cunningham, office manager.

Some issues did crop up due to COVID-19, though, Finseth says. “We did notice (irregular) availability of certain products during COVID, but that’s coming around now.”

Although the nature of the work involves occasionally going into people’s homes for installment and repairs, standard operating procedures haven’t changed much. Both Finseth and Cunningham say workers wear masks when they have to go to residences. “Some people don’t want us out unless it’s an emergency and they said, ‘If it’s an emergency we’ll call you, if not, you’ll hear from us after the COVID thing is gone, if that ever will be.’ But I think we’ll see that happen before too long,” says Finseth.

Cunningham says they’re also being careful with handwashing and employee health. “They’re doing the usual hand washing, that kind of thing, and if anybody’s sick they are to stay home, but we haven’t had anybody sick,” she says.

Temperatures are slowly starting to fall and days are getting shorter, and the first day of fall is right around the corner on Sept. 22. While some people, like Finseth, are optimistic about an approaching end to COVID-19, it may be prudent to double check one’s heating as some schools around the nation, including Midwestern states like Indiana are facing closures after reopening attempts due to new outbreaks.