Shortages causing delays and price hikes for HVAC repairs

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – HVAC experts say shortages in supplies, workers and production can cause delays in repairs and maintenance. This is already driving prices for HVAC services, according to a local expert, and those prices could go much higher as we enter the dog days of summer.

“A lot of those are just delays in getting stuff when we need it.” said Richard Hobbs, a licensed local HVAC technician, “I think COVID had a big hit with that, and the industry is just trying to catch up right now.”

Hobbs and fellow local HVAC technician, Ben Morris, joined First News on Four to discuss the impact of the shortages on the residents of the Brazos Valley.

“I think it affected parts ordering last year, but lately I know it was a big scare,” Morris said. “Refrigerant prices are rising almost daily. Sometimes several times in the same day.”

He and Hobbs agreed that rising prices are the biggest problem residents will face this summer, and they say the problem 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 was in contact with my local distributor this morning, I checked the price of refrigerant daily and it has come to the point where it is comparable to gas prices and oil. I mean, it fluctuates daily.”

Hobbs said that while most of the repairs he sees in our area are unaffected by delays, some major issues can take longer due to supply chain delays. Both he and Morris recommend that homeowners in Brazos Valley take some small steps to protect and properly maintain AC units now before the hottest temperatures arrive later this summer.

Protecting your AC unit

  • Replace the air filter.
    • Air filters are relatively inexpensive and can be replaced without the help of an HVAC technician.
    • “Your filter is there to keep your system clean, and if your system is clean, it’s working properly,” explains Hobbs.
  • Store your AC unit in a shady area.
  • Keep animals away from the device.
  • Make sure the drain lines are clear.
  • Keep your thermostat a few degrees higher than usual during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Be careful not to throw any waste or grass clippings at the unit while mowing
  • Research your device before contacting a company to have it repaired.
    • Morris adds that you should research the company you use to perform maintenance or repairs.
    • Hobbs recommends that you ensure that the HVAC technician you have contracted is a licensed HVAC technician. You can see if your HVAC technician is licensed by clicking here.
    • Morris encourages getting quotes from multiple contractors if you’re not sure the price is reasonable.
  • Have your AC unit checked by a licensed HVAC technician.
    • Morris said a check of your AC unit can catch minor problems before they cause bigger problems.

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