Heat crisis hits Christchurch pubs
Refrigeration specialists have been working flat out to avert crises in local pubs and other outlets affected by the run of hot weather in Christchurch.
Patrons at a St Albans bar were dispirited earlier this week when the publican was forced to stop serving chilled tap beer due to a breakdown.
Another at Islington was also affected, although both pubs are now back on tap.
Publican Stephen ‘‘Sooty’’ Moffat, who runs the Islington pub, also known as The Swamp, said he should have got maintenance done sooner.
Dux Central owner Richard Sinke said his bars were unaffected and all beverages were as cold as they should be.
‘‘But very high heat is not always good for bar trading. Over 30 degrees and people retreat to cool places,’’ Sinke said.
Repair man Martin Lewis, of Cold Aire Refrigeration, said he was rushed off his feet.
‘‘It’s the heat. The normal ambience is about 25 degrees in Canterbury and we’ve been having around 30 degrees. So machinery is trying to cool things down but they often can’t cope. Some of these units are in small roof cavities where the temperatures might be 40 or 50 degrees.
‘‘We’re struggling to keep up with inquiries and suppliers are really busy.’’
Ian Williams, the managing director of CRW Hire Cool, which supplies refrigeration machinery, said he had fielded queries from as far afield as Wanaka this week.
‘‘The weather has created extra work with equipment under strain and people haven’t had machines serviced. We’ve had it in years gone by when you get a run of bad weather followed by hot.’’
He was also concerned about carbon taxes and the surge in refrigerant gas prices.
‘‘About two years ago you could buy 10kgs of 404A for about $300 but now it would be $900 or more.
‘‘Refrigeration companies are facing huge costs but no one at government levels seems aware of it.
‘‘There are thousands of pieces of equipment with older refrigerant gases that can’t be retrofitted with alternatives.’’
Wayne Beattie, of Patton Refrigeration, said business increased most years when the warmer weather arrived.
All systems at hotelier Richard Sinke’s bars are working well but patrons often stay away when the weather is especially hot.