Two of the industry’s most influential manufacturing associations reached a historic merger that creates a powerful advocacy for the trade. The boards of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) approved the merger and sent the proposal for a vote that successfully passed.
Diversity became an increasingly common topic as 2007 progressed. The number of Hispanic workers in the construction trades steadily rose and it is predicted that those numbers will continue to do so in 2008.
Al Gore was not the only one talking tough on the issue of global warming in 2007. DuPont Fluoroproducts made bold statements recognizing many current HFCs as contributors to the global warming situation.
In 2007, sustainability was a major buzzword in the industry. According to many involved in HVACR, including contractors and manufacturers, sustainability should soon become what energy conservation was during the 1970s, recovery-recycling in the 80s, brownouts-blackouts in the 90s, and 13 SEER in recent years.
In 2007, contractors had a full plate of new affairs to handle.
“As an industry, we faced technology changes, political changes, manpower shortages, and the list goes on,” summed up Ken Bodwell, CFO and partner, Innovative Service Solutions, Orlando, Fla.
The last of the room air conditioner manufacturing facilities left the United States in 2007. Friedrich Air Conditioning Co., based in San Antonio, moved production of room air conditioners from its San Antonio plant to the company’s facility in Monterrey, Mexico.
When former President Bill Clinton stepped to a podium in New York City to convene the C-40 Large Cities Climate Summit, he was, in effect, opening the door for expanded opportunities for HVAC contractors in areas ranging from the installation of new energy-efficient equipment to major retrofits, with a special emphasis on performance contracting.
Energy-efficient products gained ground in the residential sector this past year. Citing an unprecedented mid-year report compiled by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), the average SEER rating for unitary air conditioners sold through June was 13.66.
Boilers equipped with condensing economizers can have an overall efficiency that exceeds 90 percent. A condensing economizer can increase overall heat recovery and steam system efficiency by up to 10 percent by reducing the flue gas temperature below its dew point, resulting in improved waste heat recovery.