Shortages causing delays and price hikes for HVAC repairs

Expert HVAC technicians recommend taking steps to prevent HVAC issues ahead of the hottest days of summer as the industry deals with shortages and delays.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - HVAC experts say shortages in supplies, workers, and production could cause delays for repairs and maintenance. According to a local expert, it’s already causing prices for HVAC services to rise and those prices could go much higher as we head into the dog days of summer.

“A lot of it is just delays on getting stuff from when we need it.” said Richard Hobbs, a licensed local HVAC technician, “I think COVID had a real big hit on that, and the industry is trying just to pretty much play catch up at this point.”

Hobbs and fellow local HVAC technician, Ben Morris, joined First News at Four to talk about how the shortages are affecting residents in the Brazos Valley.

“I think last year that it affected getting parts ordered in, but here lately I know it’s been a big scare,” said Morris. “Almost daily, the refrigerant prices go up and up. Sometimes multiple times within the same day.”

He and Hobbs agreed that rising prices are the biggest issue residents will encounter this summer and they say the issue isn’t just limited to HVAC services.

“You can see that even if you go to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s the cost of building materials has gone up,” Hobbs said. “I checked with my local distributor this morning, I checked daily on the price of refrigerant and it’s gotten to the point where it’s like gas prices and oil. I mean it fluctuates daily.”

Hobbs said that while most of the repairs he’s seeing in our area aren’t being affected by delays, some major issues could take an extended period of time to fix because of delays in the supply chain. Both he and Morris recommend that Brazos Valley homeowners take some small steps to protect and properly maintain AC units now before the hottest temperatures arrive later this summer.

Protecting your AC unit

  • Change the air filter.
    • Air filters are relatively cheap and can be changed without the help of an HVAC technician.
    • “Your filter is there to keep your system clean and when your system is clean, it works properly,” Hobbs explained.
  • Keep your AC unit in a shaded area.
  • Keep animals away from the unit.
  • Make sure drain lines are clear.
  • Keep your thermostat a few degrees higher than normal during the hottest daytime hours.
  • Be careful not to throw debris or grass clippings at the unit when mowing
  • Do research on your unit before contacting a company to service it.
    • Morris adds that you should do research on the company you’re using to do maintenance or repairs.
    • Hobbs encourages you to make sure that the HVAC technician you’ve contracted is a licensed HVAC technician. You can find out if your HVAC technician is licensed by clicking here.
    • Morris encourages getting bids from multiple contractors if you’re unsure if the price is fair.
  • Get a checkup for your AC unit from a licensed HVAC technician.
    • Morris said a checkup for your AC unit can catch small issues before they cause larger problems.

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