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2021's HVAC Equipment Shortages: Supply Chain Impacts on Consumers

As we head into hotter temperatures, homeowners and HVAC contractors are becoming increasingly affected by 2021's HVAC unit and parts shortage. Below, we’ll explain:

  • which supply chain shortages are impacting the availability of HVAC equipment;
  • the causes behind the shortages;
  • and how consumers can expect to be impacted.

Which Shortages Are Affecting HVAC Equipment Availability?

There are several “links” on the HVAC equipment supply chain from raw materials to consumer. Currently, here are some key shortages disrupting this supply chain:

  • Raw materials like steel, aluminum, copper, and plastics. Steel and copper in particular cause the HVAC equipment manufacturing process to lag.
  • Semiconductors. These components are crucial in electronics and electric appliances. Air conditioners also require semiconductors in their temperature sensors.

What Is Causing These Shortages?

There has been a lead-up to these shortages for some time, but a huge factor was the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s emergence threw a monkey wrench into conventional production practices and timelines. Other factors have also bottlenecked supplies to HVAC manufacturers:

  • The Suez Canal blockage, which impacted shipments internationally
  • Our recent “snowpocalypse” here in Texas, which damaged Trane’s Tyler manufacturing plant and caused three major semiconductor chip makers to shut down sites
  • The equipment fire at the Renesas semiconductor factory, located in Japan

Because of the shortage of components and raw materials, HVAC manufacturers have had to reduce or even cut shifts on the assembly line. This leads to fewer HVAC parts and units produced in a given time than we’re all used to.

How Will These Shortages Impact Consumers Like Me?

Because production has been bottlenecked by shortages, manufacturers can’t produce as many HVAC units and parts as quickly as before. For consumers, this means that you may have to wait longer than you would’ve in the past for a new HVAC unit or a replacement part for your existing unit.

To avoid being without air conditioning this summer, we highly recommend being as proactive as possible when it comes to your system:

  • Change the air filter monthly, since your system will be going through heavy use.
  • Get the system tuned up by a professional. This will help ensure that you catch any issues well in advance, before they cause a system failure.
  • If you plan on replacing your air conditioner, start getting quotes now, and don’t wait until it breaks down.

At Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, we are dedicated to providing our customers fair, quality repairs as quickly as we can. For help with your air conditioner, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (972) 201-3253.

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