The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that during the May-through-September summer driving season this year, regular gasoline retail prices will average about $3.95 per gallon, peaking in May at a monthly average price of $4.01 per gallon.
You probably realize some of your customers are just plain nuts, and others will take a chance on dying if it means they can save a few bucks on a repair or installation. Then there are customers who somehow turn nuts after you’ve done the work for them.
According to contractors, consumers have been deluged with marketing messages touting the benefits of single-room space heaters as a way to cost-effectively heat a space using electricity instead of gas, propane, or fuel oil as the heating source.
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.