INDIANAPOLIS — Residents at several properties across Indianapolis reported broken air conditioning units amid this week’s historic heat wave. We went to work to figure out how property owners planned to resolve these issues.

At 9 on Canal in Downtown Indy, Christopher Aguilar has not had a working air conditioner in his apartment since Memorial Day Weekend. The Marion County Public Health Department said they have received nine complaints about 9 on Canal related to air conditioning since Jan. 1, 2022.

The company that owns 9 on Canal told us they purchased the apartment highrise building out of foreclosure, and have since committed nearly $1 million into replacing the HVAC systems.

Managers with Pepper Pike Capital Partners, which owns 9 on Canal, said they have had weekly meetings with both Daiken Applied which works on the air conditioners, and tenants whose air conditioners are broken.

When we spoke with the management Tuesday, they told us 20 units were without air conditioning and those units would have portable air conditioners in their apartments by the end of the day.

“Those are not living conditions that are operable for the amount of money that we’re paying,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar has had a portable device but he said that is not a solution to this issue, especially when he’s charged $1,300 a month.

“Our nostrils are clogged,” Aguilar said. “I have a tiny French bulldog, he can barely breathe. And so, we resorted to staying at a friend’s house which is where I am right now.”

Eight units at Oasis at 30th, an assisted living facility, did not have working air conditioners when we stopped by the facility today. The Indiana State Department of Health said they are investigating, which it said is common practice when an allegation of no heat or air is made during dangerous weather conditions.

Director of Maintenance Kris Ottenbacher said each impacted unit will get a portable air conditioner and/or a fan, and the problem should be resolved tomorrow. He cited supply chain issues and lack of available maintenance crews as hurdles to fixing the units.

Ottenbacher also said someone took a couple of air conditioners prior to this week.

“We did our walk around and realized that we actually had some units that were stolen,” Ottenbacher said. “And then we had a couple units that were damaged while they tried to steal them.”

Over at Barton Tower and Barton Annex, the property director told us this morning five units were without air conditioning. When we arrived on the scene, Johnson Controls was there to fix the issues.

The director told us residents were able to sit in her office in the air conditioning while crews worked.

When to call the local and state health departments

The Marion County Public Health Department advises tenants to first contact the property management or landlord to resolve the issue. The agency said if they are not responding or working to address the problem, the renter can call the Housing and Neighborhood Department complaint line, at (317) 221-2141 or go online to MarionHealth.org for assistance.

ISDH said assisted living facilities experiencing an issue with their air conditioning may use large, portable air conditioning units and large fans to cool the facility. The agency added that its team members will ensure the housing facility is offering cold beverages to tenants and staff are checking on their people more frequently.   

ISDH adds if the facility has not taken any corrective action, our agency can require the facility to take immediate action to cool the facility. ISDH can also state-licensed facilities so that they have fines imposed.