The global effects of the coronavirus pandemic range from tragic to inconvenient. While COVID’s impact on the HVAC industry has thankfully been more the latter than the former, that doesn’t mean the inconveniences aren’t, well… inconvenient.
And we’re dealing with a pretty big annoyance at the moment.
As of this writing, it’s August 2021. Due to supply chain-related issues that are a direct result of the global pandemic, our industry faces a severe shortage of HVAC equipment for new installations. Manufacturers assure us that they’ve ramped up production, but the shortages continue.
Right now, we simply don’t know when equipment availability will once again match consumer demand.
How did COVID cause an HVAC equipment shortage?
It’s complicated, but our understanding is that it’s a combination of labor shortages on the manufacturing side and increased demand on the buying side.
As we all know, the pandemic led to a global economic recession. HVAC part manufacturers decreased production, workers were sent home (or got sick and had to stay home), and fewer HVAC systems were built.
Today, we’re still feeling the effects of that shortage in the form of lower equipment inventories. But in 2021, demand is once again on the uptick. More consumers want to buy new HVAC systems than in 2020. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many available to purchase due to those lingering materials and parts shortages.
So here we are.
What should you do if you need a new HVAC system in 2021?
If you need to replace your system this year, there’s some good news. While things are dicey, it’s not like there aren’t any new ACs and furnaces available. There are. So, if you’re worried, you’ll need a new AC and won’t be able to get one at all, you can rest easy.
That being said, you could still be impacted by the shortage in the form of:
- Brand availability: You might not be able to get your first choice of HVAC brand. For example, if your house needs a 3-ton AC and you want to buy a Trane, there’s a chance you’ll have to buy a different brand instead.
- Efficiencies: For your next HVAC system, you might want a higher SEER for the AC and AFUE for the furnace. With the current shortage, those efficiencies might not be available. For example, if you wanted a 20 SEER system, you might have to settle for a 16 SEER instead.
Due to the lack of options, you might decide to wait it out and repair an AC that would normally be more cost-effective to just replace. Your new system will be on backorder, and you’ll just have to wait.
On the other hand, you could accept a few compromises when it comes to brand and features (we contend that the quality of your HVAC installation matters more than HVAC brand anyway) and get a new system anyway. It’s really up to you.
Or there’s a chance we’ve still got exactly what you want! That’s becoming less likely every day, but it’s still possible.
In the meantime, you need to take care of your HVAC system
Until we reach a point where supply and demand are happily balanced, it’s more important than ever to make sure your system is in the best possible shape. Otherwise, you could end up with a breakdown and be forced to make some hard choices.
If you haven’t scheduled a maintenance visit yet, now’s the time.
Call up your HVAC company and schedule an AC tune-up ASAP. And when fall rolls around, be sure to get a furnace tune-up, too. Our HVAC service agreements cover two maintenance visits per year and include a lot of nice perks.
HVAC systems that are regularly serviced last longer and are less prone to failure than systems that aren’t. After a system tune-up, you’ll be less likely to need a new AC or furnace during a time when there are fewer new ACs and furnaces to choose from.
Concerned about HVAC supply issues? Let’s talk.
While things aren’t at a crisis point yet, the situation isn’t great. There’s a chance you’ll need a new HVAC system and won’t be able to get the one you want.
Whether you were planning to replace your HVAC system this year or just need to ensure your system can make it through another season, we can help. If you’re in Metro Atlanta and want to speak with one of our consultants, just call (404) 994-2229 or schedule a visit today!