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Microchip shortage causing concern for HVAC contractors ahead of winter

Reports from America’s heartland indicate that a microchip shortage could impact how we heat and cool their homes. HVAC contractors started to see the shortage in early spring, but concern over the shortage is rising approaching the winter months. The shortage could make furnace repairs and replacements difficult when sufficient heat is critical.

Microchips are basically miniature computers that exist inside several appliances including furnaces, thermostats and hot water heaters. The chips sit on circuit boards.

“It’s amazing how something like that is putting so many things on hold right now,” said Bruce Perkins, logistics officer at Harker Heating & Cooling.

Perkins explained these chips are how thermostats and furnaces or air conditioning units communicate, keeping homes at a comfortable temperature.

The best thing people can do to avoid problems this winter is run their furnace now and get their annual maintenance done, before it is too late. If there are any issues that have the potential to arise, [you] can usually catch those on the front end.

Contractors are not sure how long the shortage will last. A lot depends on the pandemic—if plants have to keep shutting down because of COVID-19 outbreaks, the shortage will continue. WMTV Wisconsin hopes the issue will start to clear up by next spring. [QH]

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