You may have heard from friends and family, or experienced first-hand, shortages and out of stock situations for common appliances and other major purchase items. This is one of the many issues caused by the recent pandemic. From cars to refrigerators, options are limited, and delivery times are far longer than most of us can remember. The HVAC equipment supply chain is no exception.
Here is a brief explanation of what is happening and what you can do to avoid a costly HVAC repair or replacement during the supply shortage caused by the pandemic.
Why are HVAC prices higher? Why is there a shortage of HVAC equipment?
Manufacturers of HVAC systems are also experiencing supply chain issues and can’t produce the number of units to keep pace with consumer demand. Most of this constraint is caused by the raw materials needed for production not being readily available. Suppliers of raw copper and steel which make up most of all HVAC systems are not running at full capacity, and what they can produce is not shipping quickly. Computer chips that control all modern efficient HVAC systems are also in short supply and high demand. In addition to complete systems, repair parts are also often affected by the same issues. Parts for older units are becoming harder to locate as manufacturers shift focus on producing new units with their limited production capacity.
The manufacturers who are still producing new HVAC units, are also seeing the costs of labor and shipping increase. Most major suppliers have tried to hold costs, but recently they have increased prices between 4% to 10%. This can result in higher prices for both the expert installation companies and the homeowner. Unfortunately, these higher prices will likely remain for the foreseeable future.
Will HVAC prices go down in 2022?
While supply chains and manufacturers attempt to resume normal production levels, it will still be awhile before we see critical supply chain components return to 2019 levels. In the short term, options for new units will be limited. Larger HVAC companies like Sila have the financial resources to hold an inventory of units on hand to meet demand and have them available for timely installation. If the road to recovery continues as planned, supplies of new units and parts would hopefully return to normal at some point.
What can you do to avoid paying more for a new HVAC system right now?
The best thing you can do is maintain your current system. Regular HVAC maintenance and quickly addressing issues will reduce the odds of having to purchase a new unit during the supply shortage. A few dollars spent to prevent a major issue could add years of life to your system. Change your filter with the proper filter regularly to avoid putting a strain on the system. Consider an HVAC maintenance contract so your unit is regularly serviced, cleaned, and adjusted. Make sure the thermostat is programmed correctly to reduce the unit running when it doesn’t need to.
If your system fails and you are facing a complete system replacement, move quickly and get a few quotes. As mentioned earlier, some larger companies may have units on hand, but your options may be limited with other companies. Replacing your aging system before it completely fails will avoid a potentially dangerous situation this winter and while everyone wants to get every last day of operation out of their old system, a new, high-efficiency system could reduce your operating costs. By planning and scheduling the replacement, you will avoid disruption to the comfort of your home and have time to review all available utility rebates and attractive financing options.
Rely on the HVAC experts at Sila to keep your system running efficiently and to give you insights into planning for a replacement system if your system is older than 10 years. Advice is just a phone call away! Contact us for fast, reliable HVAC service and maintenance.