The world has seen some big supply chain issues in the last few years. Due to disruptions and production shortages, there has been an ongoing shortage of HVAC supplies, meaning commercial HVAC repair companies are struggling to get enough equipment to meet all of their clients’ needs. This issue may last for a while.
Keep reading to learn how HVAC equipment shortages might affect your business and what you can do to prepare and prevent being impacted when possible.
What’s Going on With HVAC Supply Chain Issues?
The HVAC supply chain began struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, just like many other industries. This impact is still being felt. While recovery is on the horizon, it’s been especially slow for the HVAC industry.
Labor shortages have been the main cause for the disruption, as many workers have been getting sick or taking leave to care for sick family members. As a result, the manufacturing plants that make HVAC supplies and parts have seen a decline in production.
Short Supply of Raw Materials
Another factor contributing to supply chain issues is a materials shortage. Semiconductor chips, copper, aluminum, steel, and even plastic have been in short supply and all of these materials are needed to make HVAC equipment. They’re also needed in other industries, and the manufacturers who are willing to pay the highest prices get these scarce raw materials. Inflation has also been sky high, which makes the cost of materials and parts even higher.
In addition to shortages, there have been shipping problems on sea and land, which delays the time it takes for equipment to get from the manufacturer to HVAC companies.
How to Reduce the Impact of HVAC Supply Disruptions
Lead times for getting equipment are months out, so if you rely on an HVAC system for heating and cooling, you need to prepare now. You might not be able to get your system repaired or have components replaced quickly, so you need to consider other options.
Here are six ways to prepare for a long-term shortage of materials and parts.
1. Get serious about regular HVAC maintenance.
Regular maintenance is your first line of defense against being impacted by supply chain disruptions. If you can avoid preventable issues, you’ll be in the clear. Although some breakdowns can’t be avoided, HVAC preventative maintenance will go a long way to keep your system functioning.
2. Compare your service options.
Before committing to service contracts, compare the businesses you find to get the best deal. However, cost may not be your primary consideration. It might be worth working with a company who has more items in stock, even if the cost is a bit higher. It’s better to get your repairs done now than it is to have to wait months.
3. Pre-order your HVAC supplies.
Since lead times are months out, try to predict your needs to the best of your ability and pre-order the supplies you know you’ll need. For example, stock up on filters, extra drain hoses, and screens for your outdoor exhaust pipes. This might be completely different than what you’re used to if you typically order parts only as needed, but that won’t work with a short supply.
When you find a supplier who has an ample amount of common parts or materials you use, build up a stash. When you do this, you won’t get stuck waiting months for simple things.
4. Talk with your contractors.
The best way to know what’s happening is to communicate with the companies who service your HVAC system. Talk to them and find out what’s happening in their world and ask what you can do to ensure your needs are met. They might ask you to schedule regular maintenance and commit to a year contract. If that’s what has to happen, do it. That way, they’ll be able to prepare for your needs.
5. Plan your budget for cost increases.
The cost of HVAC services has increased by up to 80% compared to just a couple of years ago, and that’s because supply is short and demand is high. While the shortage continues, you can expect prices to remain high. That means commercial HVAC repair companies will need to pass the additional cost onto you, the customer, at least to some degree.
When budgeting for future HVAC repairs, be sure to add extra to account for rising prices. Whether costs continue to increase because of inflation or short supplies, padding your HVAC budget will ensure you don’t get hit with too many surprises.
With HVAC Supply Chain Issues, Time is Money. Save Both With React.
Whether you need a new installation, repairs, maintenance, or ductwork, we have you covered. Our professional HVAC technicians can get your system up and running to meet all of your cooling and heating needs. We also offer preferred service to our customers who opt for a regular maintenance contract.
At React Industries, we have more than 30 years of experience serving customers in the NYC and Manhattan areas, so contact us today for all your commercial HVAC maintenance and installation needs.