(KMOV.com) - Bart Inman, owner of Bart Inman Air, has been repairing and replacing central heat and air conditioning systems for over 30 years, but said he's never seen problems getting parts like he's seeing now.

"No, not even close," he said.

The supply chain problems that have caused a shortage of new cars, toys, personal computers and left empty places on store shelves, are causing delays in repairs to heating and air conditioning units. David Mohler is with Thompson Supply in Overland, which sells both parts and complete furnaces to repair services.

"It's spotty, it's not entire groups of things. It's just sometimes a component to complete a furnace," he said.

Thompson said some higher-end central heat and air systems, as well as commercial systems, use microchips. The same shortage of microchips that has hit automakers hard is now affecting HVAC system manufacturers. Mohler said he heard there might be shortages and planned ahead for this winter.

"I brought in more inventory than I normally do, probably by 25%," he said.

Inman said there's a real risk that someone who has an old furnace that breaks down during the winter could find themselves without heat for several days or longer while they wait on the supply chain to catch up.

"Yeah, it could be a couple of weeks. If there's anymore glitches in the supply and the deliveries," he said.

And because the demand is more than the supply, Inman said prices on parts have gone up once and may go up again before winter's over.

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