Material Shortages Impact the HVAC Industry
HVAC companies around the U.S. are seeing product shortages and price increases continue into late Spring 2021. A recent article on the ACHR industry site finds that it’s factors beyond COVID-19 that are impacting production. February ice storms in Texas drastically affected facilities that produce many of the materials for HVAC systems. As a result, companies making copper rods, resins, and microchips are weeks to months behind schedule. The result is HVAC manufacturers are only receiving 50-70% allocations, increasing lead times to move units from manufacturer to distributor to end customer.
Additionally, increased interest in indoor air quality and ventilation has pushed the HVAC industry to a 6.1% sales growth rate, increasing from 4.1% at the end of 2020. Moreover, booming housing markets like that in the Myrtle Beach area is also increasing demand for residential HVAC systems.
Labor Shortages are a Factor, Too
Like the service and hospitality sector across the country, HVAC manufacturers and suppliers are struggling to find talented employees to speed production times. While the supply shortages created by winter and spring storms are not expected to last long, labor shortages could keep delays in play for another six months, according to Todd Young of Ferguson Enterprises. Despite the inability to keep up with current demand, industry professionals are optimistic. Increased traffic at major ports and railways in March of 2021 is encouraging.
HVAC Distributors Anticipate Demands Earlier to Minimize Lead Time
Despite all the factors that have slowed production and distribution, demand for HVAC equipment has not changed. After the stress of Summer 2020, many HVAC distributors are building inventories sooner to avoid delays. For small businesses in the Myrtle Beach area, summer is busy season. Ordering a surplus is the best way to ensure companies don’t have to delay projects due to product shortages. Distributors are making sure these products are on hand and can be moved quickly from distribution center to the consumer.