The tough economy has led many contractors to hunker down, conserving resources and cutting expenses. Other contractors are taking the opposite approach, investing in their companies and expanding operations to include additional profit centers. While there are different ways an HVAC contractor can go, most look to plumbing or electrical as natural extensions.
The “Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act of 2011” (S. 398) bill, recently introduced in the U.S. Senate, would enact into law several consensus agreements that would set new federal efficiency standards for residential furnaces in two regions, for central air conditioners in three regions, and for central heat pumps in one, national region.
The poor economy has been hard on commercial businesses. In some cases, HVAC contractors still have service agreements with local malls and office buildings, but often, that work is being outsourced to national maintenance organizations. HVAC contractors have partnered with these organizations. Some sing their praises while others now turn and run.
The goal of the Energy Star for New Homes program has been to help homebuyers identify homes that are significantly more energy efficient than typical homes in the marketplace. As code requirements have become more rigorous over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has responded by modifying the Energy Star guidelines periodically.
The Road to Success Lennox dealer meetings are part business seminar and part pep rally by design, said Jay Gidick, vice president of merchandising and national accounts. “We’re trying to make these meetings entertaining for dealers, and we think it’s working.”
Distributors who made it through 2009 can congratulate themselves on surviving one of the most difficult years that HVACR wholesale distribution has endured in a long time. And while business is not back to pre-recession levels, the outlook is definitely improving.
The economic conditions of the last few years have been tough for HVAC contractors. While some economic indicators point to a modest recovery underway, contractors may need a little more convincing, as evidenced by the Contractor Comfort Index (CCI), which decreased in the months of December and January before rising a bit in February.
In 2010, the 25C tax credits were a popular sales tool in the HVAC industry, used to entice homeowners to purchase high-efficiency HVAC systems in exchange for a $1,500 tax credit. However, these residential tax credits were reduced to $500 at the end of 2010, leading many in the industry to wonder if a drop-off in new equipment sales would be inevitable in 2011.
Contractors attending this year’s Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) conference had a lot of burning issues on their minds concerning the HVAC industry. Thanks to the much-anticipated CEO Forum that is held at the conference every year, attendees had the opportunity to ask manufacturing leaders about those issues that directly affect their livelihoods.
Contractors have looked forward to attending the Indoor Air Expo, a collaboration between the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), for several years. This year, a new partner has been added - the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA).