At Just Fix It, we share a longtime personal relationship with our supplier, Aaron A. He works hard every day to shield you from the burden of supply shortages and delays. Hear from him directly on what he is seeing in the A/C supply chain as issues permeate nearly every industry. In this video and transcript, Kasey asks him the questions you need to know to plan your home maintenance and projects.
Kasey with Just Fix It here. So today I’m with our supplier, Aaron, and we’re going to be talking about what we should expect in terms of 2022 in terms of A/C supply.
Kasey: So most of us have noticed shortages in the furniture industry, cars, groceries, things like that. So how has this affected our industry?
Aaron A.: We are not exempt from any of that. I mean, from all facets of our business from the raw materials to the freon that goes into the systems to the actual A/C equipment itself. We’ve seen way long and unexpected lead times. We’ve seen increases, so not only is the supply limited, but the prices have gone up just because of the lack of labor, the cost of the raw material being sourced has been— we’re all-time high right now. If you compare prices now to pre-pandemic, I’d say anywhere from 300 to 400 percent increases across the board.
Kasey: What do homeowners need to know that they currently are not informed on?
Aaron A.: So in the past, if a homeowner had an issue with their AC system, they call you guys out. If it’s something that you can repair there on the spot, Great. If it’s, if it’s one of the cases where they would need to replace their entire system in the past, they would be able to just you guys will be able to just go to the supply house, pick up the equipment install it the same day or the next day. The problem is now even though simple repairs, it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to find the part. The microchip shortages, labor shortages. It’s affected our whole industry, that’s on, the smaller repairs. But when it comes to replace an entire equipment that’s even more of an issue sourcing equipment nowadays. If you were to go and tell the homeowner, hey, unfortunately, it’s time to replace your system. You would have to call the supply house to make sure they’re going to actually have the equipment before you go. There is no guarantee. Like, in the past, we can do it next day. Now, might have to schedule a week, two weeks off in advance. It’s not a guarantee anymore.
Kasey: So what do you expect in the next 12 to 24 months for manufacturers?
Aaron A.: It’d be nice to say in the next 12 to 24 months… Everything will be back to normal, but that’s, that’s really not realistic right now. A majority of the issues that we’re having now are the labor force and just sourcing the raw materials. So if we were to snap our fingers today and say that everybody went back to the steel mines, everybody went back out to source these materials, all the manufacturing jobs are back 100% today… Then it would take 12 to 24 months for us to rebound from the shortage we’re in right now, but the fact that we can’t snap our fingers and make everything go back to normal right now. We’re probably looking at another three, maybe four years of these issues if I’m just guessing. I mean, I’m not a professional or anything but because the shortages are beyond just the materials and labor force. You have the shipping, the issues at the ports. I know everybody knows about that. You got tons and tons of cargo ships out there, waiting to get unloaded tons of 18-wheelers with no drivers to bring them. t’s going to be an ongoing process, but hopefully like I said, within the next two to three years, hopefully, we can get everything back to normal but it’s not a quick fix. It’s going to be a while.
Kasey: When choosing equipment what should homeowners be looking for?
Aaron A.: Well, the most important thing—there’s tons of brands out there so it’s hard to differentiate. The most important thing in my opinion is having a qualified contractor that has the best practices when it comes to installs. Secondly, warranty. Of course, we all want to get our best value for our money. So warranty would be the best thing to look for and where it’s manufactured, making sure that you’re using an American-made product. Those would be the most important things in my opinion.
Kasey: So what’s keeping you up at night in the HVAC world?
Aaron A.: Supply chain shortages to be honest with you. I mean, it’s a couple of things we’ve talked about already. We have the demand for A/C right now is so high and supply is so low. That’s, that’s really what keeps me up at night. It’s not knowing if I’m going to be able to supply my customers.
Kasey: So, how long have you known Aaron Childress? (Just Fix It’s General Manager)
Aaron A.: Oh man, we both came up in the industry together as kids. I started when I was about 16 years old and that’s when I first met Aaron, so about 15 years later.
Kasey: Wow, so what could you say stands out about Aaron from the rest of the pack?
Aaron A.: Well, Aaron [Childress] puts a big emphasis on training. Training to make sure that his installers are doing the best install practices that he’s aware of going through tons of training. His comfort consultants, when they’re in the home, being thorough with homeowners, making sure that they’re not just trying to sell the homeowner something that they’re actually trying to solve the homeowners pains and needs. Most other contractors are out there just trying to slap in an A/C system and go, but he takes the time to make sure that his technicians are thorough on the job.
Alright thanks for everything today, Aaron, educating us and our clients. If we did miss something, feel free to leave a comment for what we should talk about in the future. Just to let you know that cool weather is the best time to get savings for new equipment. We are running a free furnace special. We do have a hundred fifty of those to give out. So go ahead and go to JustFixItToday.com. Thank you again, Aaron for all your help.
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