Why Are Air Conditioning Parts So Expensive? A Comprehensive Guide

The availability of parts is one of the main reasons why air conditioning repairs can be so costly. Sometimes, your technician may have to order them from the manufacturer or another supplier, which can add to the repair bill due to the part and shipping fees. Demand for air conditioning parts, new units, and repairs tends to surge when the weather heats up, and this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm that's making HVAC parts and equipment more expensive than usual. The pandemic has reduced the supply of raw materials and caused labor shortages in the factories that manufacture the parts and equipment we need.

The cost of diesel has also been high, which is the fuel needed to bring our HVAC truck to your location for repairs or replacements. This can mean that some HVAC companies may start to reduce their service areas or increase their travel rates. The raw materials used to manufacture HVAC parts and equipment are in short supply and are also becoming more expensive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics monitors the prices of products manufactured in the United States by month, so you can see the average prices as they change over time.

The NASDAQ also documents commodity prices, and you can see the upward trend in prices over the past year. Copper pipes recovered from HVAC units are ready for recycling, which is another indication that prices are high. Demand during the pandemic was low because factories weren't operating at full capacity, meaning prices were low. That has changed in recent months. Fortunately, healthy air conditioning systems shouldn't need additional refrigerant.

This is why a fully charged system shouldn't need to be “recharged” - if so, it means that it has a leak, which needs to be repaired. Semiconductor chips are found inside higher-efficiency HVAC systems, such as variable-speed HVAC units, multi-speed central air units, heat pumps, and mini-divisions. Consumers love them because they are efficient, quiet and increase indoor comfort. However, Newsweek reports that the chip shortage is affecting the manufacture of new cars, smartphones, and computers - they also expect the chip shortage to extend to air conditioning systems. This means that we could see a lower supply of high-end, optimally efficient HVAC units and parts. PC boards, the minicomputers that make them so efficient, can be harder to get and more expensive if you need a repair or replacement.

The shortage of labor due to the pandemic has been added to delays and equipment shortages. That's why when you see the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index (PPI) for HVAC equipment going up (as shown in the chart below), HVAC service companies and consumers can also expect higher prices on air conditioners, heat pumps, and parts. The “Producer Price Index” measures the average change over time in sales prices received by domestic producers of goods and services. Staying informed allows customers to better understand why supplies of air conditioners and heat pump parts may be limited and why prices are higher than usual this time of year. A variety of factors contribute to this increase in demand and decline in supply of HVAC equipment - not just hot weather. The inflation rate is trending higher than it has been in some time according to government statistics. This means that the value of a dollar is lower which means that consumers may have to pay more for the same item.

Understanding all of these market forces at play can help you plan ahead and be patient if it takes longer than usual to supply an air conditioner repair part. Homeowners who know that their air conditioner may not last through summer and fall could start thinking about replacing it now so they have more time to decide what type of system they want and what features are essential. Most people keep a central air conditioner for 12-17 years so it's worth buying what you want because you might have it for a long time. Starting the HVAC replacement process before it becomes an emergency gives you additional time to make a decision and explore funding if you want. Facing an expensive repair or replacement when temperatures reach 80°F or higher is not ideal - starting earlier puts you in control and can reduce stress for everyone involved. An air conditioner malfunction when it's hot can be stressful - that's why we advocate regular maintenance and keeping abreast of market conditions. This gives savvy customers options to stay comfortable when the weather is hot. When it comes to replacing an AC compressor, an important factor relates to its speed - also known as “stages”.

The more stages an AC compressor has, the higher its price will be since faster speeds mean greater efficiency. Save money on a new Ruud air conditioning and heating system for your home or business. We offer expert and reliable air conditioning and heating repairs, installations, and consultations to keep you comfortable all year round. We call homes and businesses in West Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Richmond, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear and more.

Marian Burrier
Marian Burrier

Infuriatingly humble social media maven. Subtly charming tv specialist. Devoted food expert. Extreme social media nerd. Hardcore music scholar. Infuriatingly humble pop culture fanatic.

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