LAHORE - The sale of summer appliances has started picking up with the gradual increase in the mercury level.

Not only the brand new but also used appliances are in demand that is likely to increase further with onset of proper summer, the shopkeepers at electronics markets and electricians dealing in used items believe.

Installation of ACs and service of already installed appliances has become a headache due to shortage of trained staff.

Though refrigerators are all season items, their sale has also picked up due to increase in demand for commercial use at cold drinks corner and ice cream parlours.

The sale of metal desert coolers has picked up momentum as it is becoming difficult to cope with heat with just ceiling fans. People are turning to this alternative of ACs as they are not only cheaper but also consume less electricity.

"The sale of ACs and coolers has increased during the last one week. Prior to that, we were sitting idle as there was hardly any buyer due to somewhat pleasant weather conditions. Now the sale is picking up with increase in temperature. Hopefully, the trend will continue and we will sell more ACs and coolers in coming days,” said Muhammad Hamza, owner of an electronics shop at Abid Market.

Referring to other appliances, he said that the demand of ceiling, pedestal fans and refrigerators has also increased. “Sale of refrigerators continues throughout the year. But it increases in summer due to demand for commercial use like at cold drink corners and ice cream parlors.”

"We are selling 8-10 ACs in a day. The sale will increase in a week or so as the temperature is not that high at the present stage. I have heard about severe heat wave in May. Hopefully, we will get good business in coming days and the sale will cross that in the last summer,” said Muhammad Mansha, salesman at another shop in Abid Market.

He said that the prices of appliances were not that high as compared to the last season. “The prices are usually decreased in off season. During the season, appliances are sold at retail price. Unabated sale of smuggled appliances are not allowing manufacturers to increase prices.”

“The increasing heat has raised the demand of used ACs and service of already installed machines at homes and offices. I have to attend so many calls for repair and installation of ACs,” said Muhammad Yousaf, an electrician at EME Society.

“My assistants are also attending at least 14-15 calls a day. We can install three to four ACs in a day. Similarly, service of the same number of installed machines could be carried out. I am giving time of coming week to those who have approached me for installation or service of ACs," he added.

“People in posh localities are installing new ACs, mostly invertors. Those in less developed areas are demanding used machines. I am selling two to three used ACs in a day.

“Till the last week, I was charging Rs1000 for installation of AC and Rs500 for service of already installed machine. Now I am charging Rs1500 for installation and Rs1000 for service,” Yousaf told The Nation.

Muhammad Munir, who purchased metal cooler popularly known as Lahori Cooler from a shop at Karim Block Market, Allama Iqbal Town, said: “I weighed options of new and used AC. But I dropped the idea due to the fear of getting electricity bill beyond my reach. So I bought this cooler.”

“The most amazing thing about this cooler is its air throw. You can feel air throw even at 20 feet away from the cooler. It is more effective than 1.5 ton AC. People are turning to these coolers as they are cost effective and consume less electricity. This cooler can run on UPS, consuming only 170 watts, not much more than a pedestal fan,” said Naseer Ahmed, a shop owner at the market.

He added: “I am selling six to seven coolers in a day. Hopefully the sale will increase with onset of proper summer. You can use it even during monsoon. The only thing needed is to use it without water. It is more effective than any ceiling or pedestal fan.”