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HVAC technicians face part shortage amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - COVID-19 has contributed to shortages of many supplies over the last year. Items like computers, lumber, cars, and food have all been affected.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning companies, or HVAC, are among those industries facing a a national parts shortage, which could affect those looking to improve their systems, or perform maintenance on them.

The shortage is already affecting some here in Sioux Falls who were looking to improve their heater before the start of fall.

“Yesterday we went out to meet with a customer who wants a particular kind of furnace, and when we reached out to our vendor to see what’s the lead time on getting this, they told us it’s going to be next spring,” said Alan Gentry, Founder of Comfort Heroes Plumbing, Heating, and Air.

Parts used in HVAC systems made out of aluminum or copper are all facing shortages, and the labor effects from COVID-19 have further impacted the ability to get HVAC parts.

“From what I understand, another major part of it is getting shipping containers out of California from China. It’s so backed up there that it’s taking weeks and weeks to get things unloaded off the boats,” said Gentry. “I think another aspect of that is the shortage of labor for people who drive trucks and move parts around the country.”

Johnstone Supply is one of the Midwest’s biggest suppliers for HVAC parts, and they have been working to help lessen the impacts of this shortage.

“Somethings were working on right now is adding additional space, stocking up on a product that we know were going to need three, four, or six months from now, to make sure that we can continue to support the community,” said Alex HofKamp, President of Johnstone Supply.

It is recommended for people with HVAC systems to have them checked before the winter months start.

“Somethings you may want to do in order to prevent failures when it’s at the coldest time of the year is get your equipment maintained,” said Hofkamp. “Have a contractor come out have them take a look at the furnace make sure it’s clean, make sure it’s tuned up and ready to go so that when it all of a sudden gets to that –10, -12 degrees your not the one without heat.”

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