The HVAC industry is dealing with shortages due to several external factors. The timeline is unclear, but the general consensus is that HVAC supply chain issues will eventually resolve themselves. Continue reading to discover why these delays occurred and how to prepare your business for these shortages.
Why Are There HVAC Equipment Shortages?
The recent pandemic put the world on hold, and we’re still dealing with the repercussions. Many HVAC production facilities were disrupted as their staff couldn’t work. Production slowed as a result, and the number of products making their way to the market significantly decreased.
To maintain productivity in the face of supply chain disruption, HVAC manufacturers sought alternative suppliers. These came with higher costs, which were then passed along to individual distributors. With HVAC customers placing their operations on hold, manufacturers adjusted to the decreased demand by producing less to save money. As businesses began to reopen, product availability became scarce, and HVAC supply chain issues emerged.
As many businesses are realizing, employees are resigning at an alarming rate. Referred to as the Great Resignation, the quit rate reached a 20-year high last November. The HVAC industry was not immune, as companies face a shortage of workers despite the spike in service demand. Additionally, professional technicians take time to train.
The combination of these elements has slowed down the HVAC industry. Luckily, there are a few precautions you can take to minimize delays.
Many HVAC systems require semiconductor chips to operate. As semiconductor production slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many factories closed, making the supplies needed for chip manufacturing unavailable for months. HVAC supply chain issues emerged as increased demand from consumers, tech companies, and motor vehicles caused major shifts in the distribution chain. A backlog of orders began to pile up as manufacturers struggled to create enough chips to meet new demand.
The semiconductor shortage isn’t solely due to manufacturing. As COVID-19 made its way through Asia, ports shut down, sometimes for months. As an example, almost 90 percent of the world’s electronics go through China’s Yantian port. This port was closed for a substantial period, leaving hundreds of container ships waiting to dock and receive goods.
Supply Chain Delays
Supply chain disruptions can be traced back to early 2020, as HVAC factories shut down or reduced production because their workers were sick or in lockdown. In response, shipping and logistics companies cut their schedules to anticipate a drop in demand for moving HVAC parts to customers.
That proved to be a mistake, as demand for certain parts increased. This clogged the system for transporting goods to consumers who needed them. At the same time, finished HVAC equipment—many of it made outside the U.S.—piled up in warehouses and ports around the world because shipping containers were experiencing a shortage due to poor anticipation of low demand. Because containers were scarce and the need for shipping was intense, the cost of moving cargo skyrocketed and new HVAC supply chain issues developed.
How To Reduce the Impact of HVAC Supply Chain Issues
The best companies are able to work through challenges and find alternative solutions. Don’t let HVAC supply chain issues get the best of you. Consider the following options to minimize the effect of supply chain shortages on your business:
Preventative maintenance for your HVAC equipment prevents mechanical emergencies that put your whole system out of service. Routine checkups allow HVAC professionals to fix any minor issues before they become significant problems.
Look for Signs of Equipment Failure
A surprise emergency can shut down your system and leave you stuck waiting for a replacement. Listen for loud sounds from equipment and monitor your energy bill for evidence that your HVAC system is in trouble. If you find any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to local HVAC providers.
Order in Advance
If you’re deciding whether to order a new HVAC system or furnace, it’s a good idea to go ahead and make the order. Being proactive with current supply chain issues allows you to receive your new equipment by the time you actually need it.
Look for Alternative Equipment
If your usual make or model faces supply shortages, consider alternatives. There are various types of air conditioning systems that are more than capable of heating and cooling your facility.
Alternative Air Conditioner Options
Investing in a few split systems is a great way to increase air conditioning efficiency despite HVAC supply chain issues. Split systems include a condenser unit outside your facility to provide a cool air supply inside. They’re easy to install and manage, and you can adjust the temperature with an easy-to-use interface.
Another popular alternative to traditional HVAC equipment is single window units. These systems cool a room effectively and offer easy installation because electric outlets power them. However, to release hot hair, they need to be propped in a window or have an exhaust hose protruding from an opening in the window. If your business can’t accommodate these needs, window units might not be the best choice for you.
For commercial spaces in dry climates, evaporative coolers are an excellent option in light of HVAC supply chain issues. The system works by pushing air through a water-soaked pad, allowing the water-cooled air to blow into your facility. Evaporative coolers are cheaper than refrigerant HVAC systems and can effectively cool your facility.
Your First Choice for HVAC in Dallas
A&G Services first opened its doors in Fort Worth in 1984. Since then, we’ve built a large client base due to our commitment to providing exemplary service you can trust. Reach out to our experts with any HVAC questions—we’re happy to help.