Logistical issues and product shortages brought on by the pandemic have touched every corner of the economy. Many links in the HVAC equipment supply chain have been impacted:
- The cost of materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, and plastic has risen precipitously.
- Semiconductors, essential to your AC’s temperature sensors, are in short supply.
- Transportation issues, from backlogged ports to a shortage of truck drivers, create additional bottlenecks.
- Labor scarcity means HVAC manufacturers can’t find enough people to work in the factories, resulting in decreased production of units and parts. Contractors find themselves similarly understaffed.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has kept so many people at home that it’s sparked a surge in consumer demand for HVAC. With higher demand and fewer HVAC products available, longer lead times are inevitable. This means consumers may have to wait longer than in the past for a new HVAC unit or a replacement part.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
To avoid being without heat this winter, we highly recommend being as proactive as possible when it comes to your system.
- Get the system tuned up by a professional. Furnaces should be serviced once a year, and heat pumps should be checked twice a year. This will help ensure that you catch any issues well in advance, before they cause a system failure.
- If you plan on replacing your furnace or heat pump, start getting quotes now. This gives you time to explore your options and choose the system that’s right for your home and budget.
- Replace your system’s filter, if you haven’t done so recently. When filters are dirty or clogged, your furnace expends more energy, increasing your utility bills and potentially causing problems like furnace short cycling or overheating. Air filter replacement is a fast, easy way to protect your furnace and your family.
- Fire up your furnace a few times in early fall to confirm that everything operates as expected. Set your thermostat to your preferred interior winter climate and let the house reach that temperature before turning your system off. If your system fails to start, doesn’t maintain temperatures accurately, or seems to be struggling, contact a professional as soon as possible.