Repair Over Replacement May Be Your Best Option Until Conditions Improve
Does everybody remember the toilet paper shortage of 2020? We sure do. Like everyone else, we watched the TV news scenes of folks loading shopping carts filled with toilet paper into their cars, while the rest of us had to get creative when the aisles were empty.
And now, for various reasons related to basic Covid-era economics, manufacturing protocols, and shipping issues both here and abroad, we in the HVAC industry find a similar situation unfolding for heating and air conditioning. For all commercial and residential customers, here’s what you need to know:
1.) Stainless steel wiring is hard to find.
The flex duct commonly used in Southern California relies on a heavy-duty stainless steel spring for its core. Stainless steel, it turns out, is one of many simple commodities that regularly runs out this year. If duct manufacturers can’t get ahold of stainless steel, they can’t make flex ducts. Translation? Your new system may have to be connected to your existing ducts, at least until the shortages ease up. Believe us when we say it hurts not to be able to upgrade your system completely. But until things improve, stainless steel is simply not there for anyone in the industry.
2.) Price increases for new equipment are on the horizon.
As new equipment does come in, we’re seeing dramatic price increases across the board. We’re hopeful this is only a temporary situation, but it means that if you need new equipment (and it’s in stock), BUY IT NOW. The price may see three (or more) price jumps in a few months as everything runs low. Inventories are still plentiful, but without workers to make new units and shipping employees to get them to you, it’s going to be difficult in the coming months to keep supply levels high.
Talbot Gee, CEO of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), describes it this way: “As long as demand stays strong, we’re going to have these shortages. And this is not unique to our industry. Every vertical is having supply chain issues, which means I have to tell my distributors that their suppliers and manufacturers are having the same supply issues as they are. Everyone is assuming this is going to take at least the full calendar year to work itself all the way out.”
Solution? Maintenance and repair, right now.
The good news is that our team can offer you plenty of options for installation, repair, and maintenance as we wait for the situation to change. Any upgrades to commercial or residential systems should be done now before it’s cost-prohibitive. Maintenance and repair should be priority one to keep your operating budget low without sacrificing indoor comfort.
We’re thrilled to have made it this far in some of the most challenging circumstances the San Gabriel community has seen in a century. We are grateful to our loyal customers and employees. We are confident our world will survive this too, but awareness is key. Don’t hesitate to call us to discuss your immediate and long-term HVAC needs, so we can help you plan for these upcoming bumps, and save money too.
Covid-related supply chain issues mean equipment inventories are unstable. Call Air-Tro today to discuss how we can help you repair and maintain current equipment until conditions change. (626) 357-3535.