To say the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our way of life would be a massive understatement. Disruptions in the global supply chains have negatively affected almost every major industry on the planet, and HVAC suppliers and manufacturers are no exception.
But why is this so? What caused the current HVAC shortage, and when can we expect the situation to improve? What can homeowners in Lakeside, VA, who need a new AC system or heating repair services do to ensure their comfort during the coming winter?
In previous articles, we wrote about the history of heating systems in America and discussed some interesting technological advancements in the heating industry. Now we'll answer some common questions about the ongoing HVAC equipment shortage and provide some tips on how to get through it with minimal hassle. Read on to learn more.
Why is there a shortage of HVAC systems?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, numerous factories, mines, and other industrial facilities have temporarily shut down or scaled back production. Many have also suffered COVID-19 outbreaks among their staff, and the resulting workforce shortages have further limited their production capabilities.
The transportation industry was also affected. Not only was travel as a whole made more difficult on a global level, the situation was further complicated by the Suez Canal blockage in March of 2021. All of this led to material and component shortages, which has prevented HVAC manufacturers from meeting the demand for new units and replacement parts.
Other factors that contributed to the HVAC shortage include:
- The unexpected housing boom that occurred during the pandemic has dramatically increased the need for new HVAC installations.
- Worldwide semiconductor shortage has slowed down many industries that produce and sell electronic devices.
- Unusual heat waves in certain parts of the United States increased the demand for heating and cooling systems even more.
Since there's no telling when the situation will be back to normal, home and business owners in the US are advised to take extra good care of the HVAC systems they already have. If you haven't already, make sure to book your annual maintenance service as soon as possible.
Why is refrigerant so expensive in 2021?
The greater cost of refrigerant can be traced back to increases in steel prices, which directly impacts the cost of the steel cylinders the refrigerant is held in. The rising fuel and labor costs in the transportation industry have also played a role in the prices skyrocketing.
Furthermore, US refrigerant manufacturers scaled back or halted their production due to being pushed out of the market by foreign manufacturers who are able to offer lower prices thanks to the subsidies they receive from their countries. Although the US government has counteracted this by imposing anti-dumping tariffs, the market has yet to rebound.
To mitigate the bloated costs, home and business owners are advised to replace their older systems with newer, more energy-efficient alternatives. This is especially important if your AC uses the discontinued R-22 refrigerant, as this refrigerant is no longer being produced in the US and will only become more difficult or impossible to replace as time goes on.
Where in Lakeside, VA, can I book dependable heating repair services?
Are you in need of an established HVAC company that can keep the heating and cooling systems at your home in Lakeside and other parts of Richmond operating flawlessly throughout the upcoming winter? If so, don't hesitate to give Howell's Heating & Air a call.
With over half a century of industry experience and a long list of happy customers, we're the obvious choice for all your HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance needs. Contact us today.