What’s causing the surge in pricing and how can consumers plan for more costly home maintenance?
As the US continues to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, one factor is hitting consumers almost as hard as the virus: inflation. Soaring costs in nearly every business sector are having an impact on the HVAC industry. So, if you’ve been delaying major repairs hoping your system can limp through another season or are waiting for the market to regulate, think again.
Global Forces Impacting The Industry
Your local HVAC service providers expect annual price increases from manufacturers-usually in the 2-4% range to keep up with inflation. However, prices for HVAC materials are up an unprecedented 15-20% over the past 12 months and the trend is expected to continue.
The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused:
- Skilled labor shortages
- Low supply and increasing costs of raw materials
- Increasing fuel and transportation costs
- Supply chain disruptions
HVAC systems use raw materials like copper, aluminum, steel, pvc piping, lumber, computer chips, and even packaging. To combat the rising costs of these materials, major brands like Lennox, Carrier, and TRANE have announced price increases as high 13 to 20%.
These issues are causing major upset in the industry, which means higher costs for business owners and their customers at the local level.
The Local Effects
Is it costing more to heat your home this winter? You’re not alone. Whether you use electricity, natural gas or propane to heat your home you’re paying more to keep warm this year.
Energy prices are up 30% from last year. EnergyStar.gov estimates that the average single-family home spends $2060 annually on utility bills. In addition, Thumbtack shares that the annual expense to maintain a home has risen 9.3% (or $450) over the past 12 months. Here in Indiana, residents are experiencing a 13% increase.
This all adds up to higher costs for maintaining your home’s HVAC system and highlights the importance of regular service.
Protect Your Budget From Increasing Uncertainty
Despite tough economic news, you can make smart decisions when it comes to your budget. Here are some tips to help save when it comes to your home or business HVAC system:
- Maintain The One You’ve Got: Prevention is often cheaper than repair or replacement. The average cost of an HVAC service visit is around $70-$100 while the cost of a new system can be as high as $12,000 or more. Getting on an annual maintenance plan can help keep your system in great condition. Not only can you avoid the costs and hassle of emergency repairs, you can also save on your energy costs and even extend your system’s warranty.
- Don’t DIY: While HGTV and YouTube make DIY home repairs look safe and easy, HVAC is best left to the professionals. By attempting a quick fix, you risk injury to yourself and the safety of your home. You could also end up voiding your system’s warranty if you bypass the pros costing you big money later.
- Shop Smart: On the lookout for an upgraded HVAC system? Start shopping now! Don’t wait until your system quits, which will leave you out of options and paying for it. Shop now to take advantage of local offers, state and federal tax incentives, rebates, and financing.
- Be Flexible: Rising prices, labor shortages, and difficulty sourcing parts could mean that planned services or urgent repairs may take longer than usual.
- Watch Your Usage: Keep a close eye on your energy usage to lower your monthly utility bills. For example, setting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8hrs per day can help save up to 10% annually on your utility bills. A “smart thermostat,” is a great tool for complete control and performing temperature setbacks.
Consumers will continue to encounter economic uncertainty and disruptions well into 2023 and 2024. So, the key to making HVAC repairs and upgrades is to plan and shop now. Waiting for the market to regulate may cause an even worse case of sticker shock down the road.
Not sure if you need major repairs? If any of the following apply to you, make a call to your HVAC pro now:
- Your system is older than 10 years
- Repair costs are becoming greater and more frequent
- Energy bills are increasing more than normal
- Your HVAC system runs constantly
- Your have uneven temperatures in your home
- Unusual smells or sounds
- Poor indoor air quality
Our advice? Don’t delay. Get on your service provider’s schedule ASAP and learn about your options, make a plan, and take action.