Sleepless nights as fan shortage kicks in

Searing hot temperatures are leading to sleepless nights across the country. But with the heat reaching nearly 40degC, Kiwis trying to cool down face a new problem - a national fan shortage.

Many big online retailers have run out - and stores across New Zealand are getting low on stock.

And if you miss out now, you might have to wait another two weeks for help.

"Stock is currently very limited and we only have a small amount left in some stores, however we have been working with our suppliers to source more," a Mitre 10 spokesperson told Newshub.

"We'll have a limited number of fans arriving in-store mid-February."

Due to the surge in demand, retailers have sold twice as many as last year. The double-digit increase in sales has led to some Kiwis missing out.

Many Kiwis are complaining on social media about being unable to find a cheap fan - some forced to pay hundreds of dollars instead.

"An earlier than usual start to summer saw fans flying off the shelves from early November and this continued right throughout Christmas and New Year," says Jenny Epke, GM general merchandise at The Warehouse.

"Across our stores, we've sold double the number of fans we sold last year. The same is true for pools and water sports generally.

"Due to this, we have very limited stock of fans still available, although rest assured we have more arriving in stores as we speak."

The Chief Coroner issued a warning about the weather last week after a Christchurch woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) died of hyperthermia.

Judge Deborah Marshall advises people with MS to "take all necessary precautions" to cool down.

But with shops close to running out, the elderly, sick and others who need to stay cool could potentially be at risk.

Retailers have to manage their supply in order to cope.

"Due to continued high demand, Bunnings is currently managing a limited supply of portable fans, we have additional product arriving this week and next," says Bunnings spokesperson Jacqui Coombes.

"Ceiling fans and air-conditioning units are still available for customers."

Mitre 10 says with few fans available, people are taking whatever they can take. Larger cooling systems are also proving popular.

"The freestanding and desk style fans that cost around $14-$20 are always most popular, and this summer has been no exception, but with those in high demand we've also seen many customers snapping up whatever they can get their hands on," the spokesperson told Newshub.

"We've also had more interest in installed cooling solutions such as ceiling fans and heat pumps which can be used in reversed to cool homes."

If you're grumpy about the shortage or angry over the prices you're paying, there could be a reason. It's been scientifically proven that excess heat can make people angrier, dumber and lazier.

Something to think about while you're stuck in a queue for a fan.