Across the country, but especially in the Southern United States, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) companies are experiencing a massive shortage of parts & labor. This is mostly attributed to COVID-19 supply chain bottlenecks, and the most recent winter storms in Texas & the southern US that impacted copper, steel, and aluminum production & distribution.
Several states in the south, including Arkansas & Texas have been hit with heat advisories this week, as the heat index has soared over the mid 90s & 100-degree mark. This summer came a week earlier than most anticipated, leaving HVAC companies across the country scrambling to keep up.
Along with the recent surge of demand calls, the industry is also facing a shortage of inventory. Mostly due to the recent fallout from the historic winter storms this last February. The frigid storms have caused massive supply chain bottlenecks that affected copper, steel, & aluminum production, which are core components of HVAC equipment.
During the last few months, we at Paschal Air, Plumbing, & Electric have been stocking up in anticipation for the summer surge, and have enough inventory to last through the summer, but other HVAC contractors without large warehouses may end up experiencing the worst of the shortage.
This means that evaporator coils, or condenser units are going to be harder to come by. This also effects the cylinders used to contain Freon, a refrigerant used in air conditioning systems. Freight & trucking companies are also at capacity & struggling to meet demand.
With the recent surge in demand, and inventory issues, many home owners are having to wait one to two weeks for repairs or installations to be completed.
“As long as demand stays strong, we’re going to have these shortages,” said Talbot Gee, CEO of HARDI. “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.”
In addition to the supply and equipment shortage, many HVAC employers are having a difficult time finding & hiring HVAC technicians. The industry is currently suffering a net technician loss every year, and over 80,000 HVAC technician jobs across the country currently remain unfilled.