Known by such monikers as “fly-by-nighters,” “chuck-in-a-truck,” and “moonlighters,” unlicensed contractors are likely approaching homeowners in your neighborhood right now. While these under-the-table workers may offer what seems like a great bargain, their discounted prices may end up costing much more in the end.
At the 2012 Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) annual conference, attendees had the opportunity to hear top executives from five major industry manufacturers discuss some of the hottest topics in HVAC. Some of the topics included regional standards, dry-charged unit sales, the R-22 price spike, and more.
Many contractors (and big-box stores) try to grab customers’ attention by advertising the ubiquitous $29 tune-up. So is the $29 tune-up an effective marketing tool that can be used to beef up the customer base? Or is it a pernicious practice that lowers the bar for the HVAC industry? It all depends on your outlook.
Contractors across the nation are finding that although the HVAC industry has experienced change in the recent economic crisis, its need for skilled labor and certified technicians has not been completely abated by the influx of displaced workers from the economic downturn. Other trade industries have noticed this problem, too.
While spring officially starts tomorrow, several HVAC contractors are still waiting for winter to arrive. The national average temperature across the 48 contiguous states in January was 36.3 — 5.5 degrees above the 1901-2000 average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center.
The economy has been tough for many HVAC contractors over the last few years, and the signals are mixed as to whether things will get better in 2012. On the positive side, construction employment rose in 28 states and the District of Columbia between December 2010 and December 2011. On the other hand, only 302,000 new homes were sold in 2011, which is 6.2 percent below the 2010 figure.
Improvements to the design of the roof-mounted ladder rack equipment used on commercial vans and minivans have been made. The design modifications pertain to the Weather Guard® Quick Clamp ladder rack and the Nissan NV ladder rack units.
The Magnalight LM-16 telescoping light tower is capable of lifting lighting and electrical equipment to heights of 9 to 16 feet. Designed to safely and quickly elevate cameras, lights, speakers, and other similar equipment, the light tower can be easily deployed by a single person and mounted to a variety of platforms.
How much HCFC-22 will be available to contractors in 2012 is an unanswered question as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers a faster phaseout of HCFCs. The EPA began the year by issuing a proposal called Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export.