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HVAC material costs
March 1, 2022 No Comments

How Supply Chain Issues are Affecting HVAC Material Costs

Over the past 2 years, the entire world has had to adapt to widespread supply chain disruptions across hundreds of industries as a result of strains from the COVID-19 pandemic. The HVAC industry is no exception to these supply chain issues, and along with the ever-increasing demand for these systems, the material costs are also rising. 

How Supply Chains Became Disrupted 

When businesses across almost every industry closed completely at the beginning of the pandemic, the title “essential” was awarded to those who worked in first responder roles, the medical and health field, critical infrastructure workers, and civil servants. Retailers, manufacturers, and wholesalers had to suddenly halt operations for up to months on end, during which all existing product remained untouched. This halted supply chains temporarily and caused a buildup of products in nearly every market. However, as the market began opening again, many industries rushed to make up for lost time by selling as much existing product as possible where able to – considering many industries had to write old product off as a loss for being expired or no longer desired by consumers. This resulted in an increase in sales before the manufacturing industry recovered. 

Once businesses had been open for some time and had successfully completed their first sales seasons following the COVID closures, the disparities between supply and demand became glaringly obvious: there was not enough supply to support the demands of the consumer market. This has resulted in the material costs of items rising to help manage market demands. 

HVAC Supply Chain Issues 

In New Mexico where air conditioning and heating are necessary for surviving extreme temperature fluctuations, HVAC technicians and related industry workers were deemed essential. Due to many buildings and facilities being closed, there was a decrease in systems to service and many HVAC jobs were of the residential scale. The demand for residential HVAC service skyrocketed as a result of people staying home for extended periods of time where they realized their system was not up to par and needed service and/or upgrades, which kept the HVAC industry from taking a hit when it came to work.  

Then, when commercial facilities were able to reopen, suddenly service for commercial HVAC systems that had been sitting vacant for extended periods of time became urgent. This resulted in a sudden increase in demand for commercial HVAC services and equipment, once again without an increase in manufacturing operations. HVAC material costs increased 40% since 2019 and will only continue to increase in the coming years as the demand for heating and air conditioning grows. 

How HVAC Material Costs are Affected 

Although HVAC field workers did not see a reduction in service demand, the factories that manufacture and create all the materials needed took a hit when it came to operations. These supply chain issues caused the availability of materials to decrease, resulting in a supply/demand gap – and this gap has only been widened as time goes on. 

At the end of 2021, The Associated General Contractors of America reported that the price for materials soared in November, and Ken Simonson – the chief economist of the association – noted that “prices for nearly every type of construction material are rising at runaway rates.” Material costs are influenced by the overall supply chain process including: 

  • Manufacturer pricing  
  • Shipping costs 
  • Labor costs – from ordering to installation and everything in between 
  • Availability  
  • Demand 

When the demand for HVAC services skyrocketed, the material costs had no choice but to also increase. Under COVID restrictions, manufacturers are having to pay more to source materials for production – and for production execution in general – due to the varying rules on social distancing and sanitization requirements, and availability of resources. At the same time, the demand for manufacturing labor is not being sustained, as the turnover rate for jobs also reached an all-time high in November. As a result, manufacturers must be able to offer competitive employment terms – particularly competitive wages – if they hope to maintain a stable workforce to keep up with increasing demands. So right away the increased cost of obtaining materials in general and increased labor costs must now be offset by raising material costs.  

Additionally, the costs associated with shipping have increased exponentially recently. The pandemic caused an increase in shipping traffic, and along with that came increased pricing and slower transport times. When it comes to the HVAC industry, this proves difficult especially with larger components manufactured overseas. At the same time as parts are becoming more expensive to ship, they are also taking longer to complete the journey due to delays. This means that while HVAC providers will have to offer materials at a higher cost with slower lead times, which can be hard to manage when it comes to the heating and cooling industry – especially in extreme weather episodes. 

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns placed significant strain on the global supply chains of all industries, and the heating and cooling industry is no stranger to these strains. As resources and labor became more expensive to obtain, HVAC component manufacturers had no choice but to increase material costs. These material costs continued to rise when it came to HVAC service providers due to higher shipping costs and a supply cannot support the demand. However, just because prices are increasing does not mean routine service becomes optional. Keeping up with routine HVAC system maintenance will save you big in the long run.  

The only way to know is to check with a pro!   

Do not wait until it’s too late, stay ahead of your HVAC system needs and call the professionals at Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services, Inc at (505) 281-4807 for a free estimate or to schedule a maintenance appointment.  

About Harder Electrical & Mechanical   

Founded in 2003, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services provides residential and commercial heating, cooling, and electrical services. We have proudly served the Albuquerque, Tijeras, Edgewood, and Moriarty areas for nearly 20 years. Locally owned and operated, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services is open five days a week.  

Harder Electrical & Mechanical was founded with the philosophy of providing quality services for a fair price. With extensive training in electrical, mechanical, and refrigeration, Harder Electrical & Mechanical not only stands behind the work we do – we guarantee it.  

Our experienced technicians provide residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air conditioning services. We can repair, replace, and install all brands of equipment, and we provide a 1-year warranty on labor along with any manufacturers’ product warranty. Harder Electrical & Mechanical is your one-stop shop for all your electrical, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 505-281-4807 for a free estimate.  

Hot Water Tank vs. On-Demand Water Tank: What Kind of Water Tank Best Suits Your Home?

Heating water is the average U.S. home’s second-highest utility cost after heating and cooling the house itself. Water heaters are a familiar appliance in most homes, as they’re commonly known as the tall metal cylinders in your basement or laundry room. Although the favored and traditional hot water tank is most widely used in the U.S. due to its reliability and simple usage, newer styles have surfaced with captivating features, like the on-demand water tank. 

Purpose of a Water Tank in Your Home 

You may be wondering, “why do homes have a water tank?” The heating system in your home is critical to your ongoing comfort and operations. The purpose of having a hot water tank in your home is to supply heated water to your taps and plumbing fixtures on demand. When it comes to hot water tanks, there are many areas in your home that you need hot water for such as your dishwasher, washing machine, and shower. During the winter months, the water coming into your house is usually colder, so for it to be warm for a shower or your appliances, you’ll need a hot water heater.  

Hot Water Tank 

A large majority of people have a hot water tank in their homes. According to the Department of Energy, a hot water tank is responsible for about 17 percent of the total energy use in the average home. Since your hot water tank has a supply of heated water standing by for use, there won’t be much of a wait for hot water to reach the tap for instant utilization. You’ll find that your hot water tank’s life expectancy is about 8 to 12 years, but this will vary depending on the location, design of your unit, quality of its installation, maintenance schedule, and water quality.  

Advantages of a Hot Water Tank 

  • They’re available in a wide range of sizes with tank storage options ranging between 20 to 80 gallons.  
  • They have low upfront costs for purchasing. 
  • They offer better flow rates.  

Disadvantages of a Hot Water Tank 

  • Some models tend to require more space.  
  • They offer a limited supply of hot water when used for extended periods.  
  • They can waste up to 15% of energy through radiant heat loss. 
  • Higher utility bill. 
  • Short lifespan. 
  • They continue to use energy to heat water even when it’s not being used.  

On-demand Water Tank 

We know that hot water tanks are still popular as they provide a better flow and have large storage tanks, but on-demand water tanks, or tankless water heaters, are gaining popularity. An on-demand water tank provides an endless supply of hot water for as long as it’s needed. Because the on-demand water tanks systems deliver hot water on demand, they don’t require a storage tank to store hot water, allowing you to save up space. On-demand water tanks work by using an electric element or gas burner to warm the water as it travels through a pipe and into the unit. They contain a flow sensing device that is activated whenever a tap is opened and, once that tap is closed, the unit senses that the flow of water has ceased and shuts off the heating element. Since on-demand water tanks don’t require a tank, they allow you to reduce your utility bill up to 50 percent 

Advantages of an On-demand Water Tank 

  • They’re smaller than conventional storage heaters. Since they’re mounted onto the wall, it doesn’t take up any of your floor space. 
  • Their size can make them attractive in homes where square footage is a necessity.  
  • They can help you save money on energy bills.  
  • Provides a supply of endless hot water. 
  • Has an average life expectancy of 20 or more years. 

 

Disadvantages of an On-demand Water Tank 

  • Hot water flow rate is limited by the size of the unit 
  • Complicated and expensive to install.  
  • Can cost three times more than hot water tanks on average.  
  • Cannot provide hot water during power outages.  
  • Water temperature can be inconsistent when multiple outlets are on simultaneously.  

The only way to know is to check with a pro! 

If you’re torn on what type of water tank system will be most efficient for your home, call the professionals at Harder Electrical at (505) 281-4807 for a free estimate.  

About Harder Electrical & Mechanical 

Founded in 2003, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services provides residential and commercial heating, cooling, and electrical services. We have proudly served the Albuquerque, Tijeras, Edgewood, and Moriarty areas for nearly 20 years. Locally owned and operated, Harder Electrical & Mechanical Services is open five days a week.  

Harder Electrical & Mechanical was founded with the philosophy of providing quality services for a fair price. With extensive training in electrical, mechanical, and refrigeration, Harder Electrical & Mechanical not only stands behind the work we do – we guarantee it.  

Our experienced technicians provide residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air conditioning services. We can repair, replace, and install all brands of equipment, and we provide a 1-year warranty on labor along with any manufacturers’ product warranty. Harder Electrical & Mechanical is your one-stop shop for all your electrical, heating, and cooling needs. Call us today at 505-281-4807 for a free estimate.  

High-efficiency furnace
September 1, 2021 No Comments

Why You Should Consider Upgrading to a High-Efficiency Furnace

Your furnace is one of the largest energy hogs in your home. On average in the US, home heating accounts for approximately 42% of your annual utility bill. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you have the most efficient furnace possible—especially when rising energy costs make it more difficult to pay your bills every month. Here are five reasons you should consider upgrading to a modern, high-efficiency furnace.

Whole House Generator
June 1, 2021 No Comments

Whole House Generator vs. Portable Generator: Which is the better purchase?

Power outages can be unpredictable. Sometimes, they come with a big storm or a record-breaking heat wave. Other times, they can come out of the blue, such as when a transformer blows or the power grid goes down. Regardless, the best thing you can do is be prepared with a generator at the ready to help you navigate this frustrating time. With a whole house generator, you’ll be able to power your property and live or work more comfortably while minimizing financial losses during periods of prolonged power outage.

Winter Heating Equipment
December 8, 2020 No Comments

5 Ways to Save on Your Heating This Winter

As we settle into shorter days and colder temperatures, we know this is just the beginning of a long, cold Winter ahead. That’s why we want to make sure your heating equipment, and budget, lasts all Winter long. To get the most out of your equipment, continue reading for our tips on how to save on your heating bill, and talk to the professionals at Harder Electrical & Mechanical to learn about all your options.

Using a Licensed Contractor vs. a Handyman

In an effort to save money, some Albuquerque-area residents have employed handymen for electrical and HVAC repair and maintenance services. But what is the difference between a handyman and a licensed contractor?