Getting Ahead of the Package Unit Shortage

The comfortable early Spring days we are enjoying now will soon give way to hot and humid summertime weather. How prepared are you for HVAC system breakdowns necessitating the replacement of major components?

Unpredictability in delivery of new HVAC package units systems persists. 3-, 5- and 10-ton units can take as little as a week or as long as three months to deliver. Special order systems can require six months delivery time.

Landlords, property managers and tenants must take extra steps to ensure against disruptions this summer. Supply problems could cost tenants their ability to conduct business. It could also kill a new lease deal that a landlord and tenant hope to make.

SMS’s HVAC team recommends the following steps be taken now to alleviate big problems later:

Landlords/Property Managers:

  • Landlords should not have to inherit poorly maintained HVAC systems at the end of a lease. Throughout the lease term, Tenants should provide evidence of regular maintenance of HVAC systems performed by a reputable contractor. Within six months of lease expiration all HVAC systems should be inspected to ensure such systems have been property maintained.
  • Vacant suites: Inspect and continue servicing HVAC systems in vacant suites to prevent deterioration resulting from neglect.
  • Anticipate costly delays in new system deliveries by scheduling system replacements in advance of future need.


  • SMS recommends performing scheduled preventive maintenance quarterly. Less frequent service may save a small amount of service fees, but dirty filters and coils will lead to reduced efficiency resulting in greater utility cost and shortened useful life of the equipment.

Landlords, Property Managers and Tenants should always get a second opinion on the condition and serviceability of systems. Often a recommendation to replace a unit is unnecessary when maintenance or repair of a component is all that’s needed.

For further information…