This time of year our air conditioning systems work harder and longer to keep our homes comfortable. Unfortunately, the more they run, the greater the odds of a breakdown. This Summer, as the need for replacement parts is rising, we are experiencing a shortage that is directly attributed to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages have affected many different facets within the HVAC industry.
Like most people, we had long taken for granted our ability to order whatever we needed then watch as the goods arrive, with no thought about the factories, ships, and trucks involved in delivery. Not anymore. Thousands of customers across America are having to wait for HVAC parts and equipment for extended periods of time.
What is Causing the Shortage?
A shift in the demand as the COVID-10 pandemic kept Americans at home strained supply chains, with the virus also disrupting labor at manufacturers and their suppliers, leading to raw material shortages across industries.
According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), a measure of factory employment dropped to a six-month low. An "overwhelming majority" of companies are hiring, or attempting to hire, "with more than 50% of them expressing difficulty in doing so." Labor is scarce despite nearly 10 million Americans being officially unemployed. Generous unemployment benefits funded by the government, problems with child care and fears of contracting the virus, even with vaccines widely accessible, as well as pandemic-related retirements have been blamed for keeping workers home.
How Will the Shortage Impact You?
With less equipment and components available than previously, more than 125,000 HVAC distributors are being impacted. If repair is a viable option, don't expect it to get repaired the same day depending on availability of parts. You could potentially be without A/C for weeks while you are waiting for parts to arrive. If your heating and air conditioning system is not reparable, you'll most likely be able to get a new system, it just might not be exactly what you want when you want it.
What Can You Do?
Be proactive. Replace your air filters regularly and schedule routine maintenance on your system to prevent unnecessary repairs. If you are need of a repair to your air conditioning system, we recommend doing this right away. If you feel like you are going to need to replace your system in the next 12 months, don't wait for it to break down.
Be patient and flexible. I know it's hot, but don't push your air conditioners to the limit. Shortening the runtime will help take some strain off of your equipment. If you're not home during the day, turn the temperature up a couple of degrees.
Call the experts of Helms Heating & Air Conditioning at 704-821-6255 for all of your home comfort needs. We've served Charlotte and the surrounding areas for more than forty years. We know our industry and have great relationships with the largest national suppliers in our area. Our team works daily to lessen the impact that this shortage will have on our customers.