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Will New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Affect the U.S. HVAC Industry?

Will New Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Affect the U.S. HVAC Industry?If history is consistent, the tariffs on steel and aluminum will force prices for many goods upwards. The HVAC industry changes that the tariffs will cause will be widespread in the form of higher prices that no one wants to see.

HVAC systems use a tremendous amount of steel and aluminum. The housing and most of the parts are made from steel, rigid ducts are made from steel, and sometimes the insulation around them is wrapped with insulation covered with aluminum foil. There is also an aluminum shortage, which will drive the costs up even higher.

What the Experts Predict

The industry analysts believe that the tariffs will push up prices for the steel and aluminum materials across the board. The price tag for new HVAC systems will increase, although the bulk of the increases will be shouldered in the commercial HVAC sector. Systems are larger and more complicated. They also use the majority of the aluminum-wrapped insulation for ductwork.

The industry professionals believe that homeowners will:

  • Face higher prices for system replacements. Some will bite the bullet and pay the higher price, while others may hire unlicensed people to install the systems. They may save money in the short term, but over time, the decision could cost them in an invalid warranty and installation mistakes.
  • Risk financial liability. In Arizona, HVAC contractors need to have a state-issued license along with bonding and insurance. Without those financial protections, homeowners are responsible for any property or personal damage associated with the HVAC system repair or installation and if a worker gets injured, the related hospital, recovery and loss of income expenses. The homeowner becomes the employer when using unlicensed workers. Cooling systems use high voltage electricity and combustion furnaces use natural gas or propane.
  • Put off upgrades. When the prices for new systems climbs, consumers might postpone replacing them. As a consequence, they’ll use more energy to keep their homes comfortable.

This may be a good time to upgrade your cooling and heating equipment to avoid the upcoming HVAC industry changes. For more information, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company, providing HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.