Why is HVAC Labor So Expensive? A Comprehensive Guide

As technology has advanced, so have the materials used in the installation and repair of air conditioning systems, making it more expensive for technicians to provide their services. This increased complexity requires specialized knowledge and tools that quickly accumulate on a labor bill. Demand for air conditioning parts, new units and repairs tends to increase when the weather heats up. And our industry is used to receiving annual price increases from manufacturers. However, this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm that is making HVAC parts and equipment more expensive than usual this time of year.

The pandemic has reduced supplies of raw materials and created labor shortages in factories that manufacture the parts and equipment we need. Here's what you should know about the many factors that contribute to increasing the costs of replacing and repairing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems this summer.

The Cost of Diesel

The cost of diesel has been high, meaning the fuel needed to bring our HVAC truck to your location to repair or repair your air conditioner. We stock our trucks with as many consumable parts, tools and HVAC supplies as possible to facilitate repairs. Larger vehicles are needed to transport HVAC units and supplies when they need to be replaced.

Diesel vehicles allow us to carry more weight with better fuel consumption, and our trucks can also stay in service for longer. Some HVAC companies may begin to reduce the size of their service areas.

Travel Fares

It can also mean that travel fares rise. The raw materials used to manufacture air conditioning parts and equipment are scarce and are becoming more expensive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics monitors the prices of products manufactured in the United States by month, so you can observe average prices as they change over time.

The NASDAQ also documents commodity prices and can see the upward trend in prices over the past year.

Recycling Used Parts

Copper pipes recovered from HVAC units are ready to be recycled. Another way to know that prices are high is when we recycle used HVAC equipment parts. During the pandemic, demand was low because factories were not working at full capacity, meaning that 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 should not need to be “recharged”. If it does, it means you have a leak that needs to be repaired.

Semiconductor Chips

Semiconductor chips are found in higher-efficiency HVAC systems, such as variable-speed HVAC units, multi-speed central air units, heat pumps and the minisplits. Consumers love them because they are efficient, quiet and increase interior comfort. However, Newsweek reports that chip shortages are 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 and optimally efficient HVAC units and parts.

PC Boards

PC boards, the minicomputers that make them so efficient, can be harder to get and more expensive if you need to repair or replace them. The labor shortage caused by the pandemic has been added to delays and equipment shortages.

Inflation Rate

Therefore, if you see an increase in the producer price index (PPI) of the U. S.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (as shown in the graphic below), HVAC 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 the sales prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.

Value of a Dollar

Staying informed allows customers to better understand why supplies of parts for heat pumps and air conditioners may be limited and why prices are higher than usual this time of year. Several factors, not just the hot climate, contribute to the increase in demand and to the decrease in the supply of air conditioning equipment. The inflation rate is trending higher than in some time, according to government statistics. This means that the value of a dollar is lower, meaning that a consumer may have to pay more for the same item.

Understanding all market forces can help you plan and be patient if buying a part to repair an air conditioner takes longer than usual.

Replacement Process

Homeowners who know that their air conditioning may not last as long in summer as it does in fall could start thinking about changing it now, so that they have more time to decide what type of system they want and what features are essential. Most people have a central air conditioner for 12 to 17 years, so it's worth buying what you're looking for, as they may have it for a long time. Starting the HVAC replacement process before it's an emergency gives you more time to make a decision and explore funding if you want. Facing an expensive repair or replacement when temperatures reach 80, 90 degrees or higher isn't ideal. Starting that process earlier will allow you to take charge and reduce stress for everyone involved.

An air conditioner breakdown during hot weather can be stressful.

Regular Maintenance

That's why we advocate regular maintenance and keeping abreast of market conditions. This gives savvy customers options to stay comfortable when the weather heats up.


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 repair, installation and advice services to keep you comfortable all year round. We call on homes and businesses in West Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Richmond, Katy, Richmond, Fulshear and more. The device is very expensive because it is full of complicated electrical devices that measure air flow and temperature. Once you add the concrete deck and electrical work for the HVAC unit, the dollars start to add up.

If your ductwork needs a substantial repair or even a replacement, it must be completed before your new ducted HVAC unit....

Leave Message

All fileds with * are required