The old supply chain again!
Updated: Apr 29, 2022
The supply chain from our perspective.
Lets face it we know we are not the only ones that have faced challenges in the past couple years. Even with uncertainty in the air you apply your best daily and move through. The dynamics of the shortages have been multi faceted and not always relegated to one piece of material holding everything back, the end result is the same, empty shelves. For anyone already in the industry you might cringe! I am going to use flexible duct work as the example. Flexible duct work has seen issues for well over a year and is quite a simple component. It is made up of a vapor barrier, fiber glass insulation, stainless steel helix or coil and plastic liner or membrane that attaches to the helix. These come in multiple sizes and has experienced where all sizes are available except one, the chemical to make the fiberglass was unavailable or the stainless steel to make the helix was not available and of course lack of labor. In a nutshell these have been the answers coming in from the industry. I can at least think of several other things off the top of my head that uses fiber glass other than duct work.
This is one example of challenges that the industry has been working with in recent years and has contributed to what we are finding as a now normal trend of increases across the board of which used to be annually are now bi quarterly and in some cases quarterly. In order to counteract these challenges many companies have employed crafty strategies with what is available when what we are used to simply having is just not there. It has taught us new lessons in planning and predicting potential changes coming down the pipe.
There are a few steps that can be taken however to stay ahead of the curve even for homeowners. If you are close to considering a replacement on your HVAC system it may make sense to do it now rather than later and plan ahead especially if you have a certain type of system that you want in mind rather than just purchasing what is available. Another consideration is if you plan to keep what you have, then you should consider maintaining it to keep it running. There have been real cases of needing equipment across multiple manufacturers and none are available, as well as needing parts for repairs but are not available, the well over 200 year old saying goes "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".