Falls Church

Residents endure two weeks without air conditioning at Fairfax County apartment building

Resident resorts to makeshift living room bed amid prolonged repair delays

NBC Universal, Inc.

Amid a severe summer heat wave, residents of the eaves Fairfax Towers apartments in Falls Church, Virginia, report enduring indoor temperatures as high as 93 degrees for more than two weeks. 

The situation has left many struggling to cope with the extreme heat in their homes. 

“It’s horrible,” said resident Patryzja Dziewa. “Whenever I try to fall asleep, I wake up with my heart racing. I don’t even feel like doing anything that I do daily because of how bad it is.” 

Jeff Chan, another resident, has the same frustrations.

“It’s been extremely frustrating and it makes me feel like the company has been putting profits over people,” he said. 

Residents say management provided temporary air-conditioning units, but they have not been effective. Additionally, there have been complaints of water tanks leaking onto the floors. 

“With AC units that they installed, it’s about 87 to 90 degrees inside. Without them, it’s about 100 degrees,” Dziewa said. 

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A man who appeared to be an employee asked News4 to leave Monday morning. Later, AvalonBay Communities Inc., the building's management company, sent News4 a statement explaining the situation. 

According to the company, a cooling tower that powers the air conditioning for half the building was damaged 17 days ago. They claim to have ordered parts for repair the same day, and the shipment arrived Monday, with repairs scheduled to begin Monday night. 

“Since the incident occurred, our team has been sending email updates almost daily,” AvalonBay Communities said in a statement. “We have been in regular contact with our valued residents to try to mitigate the impacts of the inconvenience as much as possible.” 

Despite these assurances, residents are eager for the repairs to be completed. Some, like Chan, have had to make significant adjustments to their living arrangements. 

“What I’ve had to do is essentially take my mattress from my bedroom, drag it to my living room and have been sleeping in my living room for the past two-and-a-half weeks,” Chan said. “On the floor.”

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