While it seems like everyone in Washington, D.C., is fixated on the debt ceiling debate right now, there are other bills in Congress that could have an impact on the HVAC industry. Here’s a quick report on a few bills that may be brought up for votes this summer.
Energy Star, the consumer information program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently released new eligibility requirements for furnaces. On June 13, EPA released Version 3.0 and Version 4.0 of Energy Star requirements for furnaces.
Not long ago, according to Jack Beers of Metcalfe Heating & AC (Manassas, Va.), contractors all followed the old adage: “If you do a great job, your customer will tell nine people. Do a poor job, and they’ll tell 22 people.” But today, as more and more customers post online reviews, Beers explained, “The difference now is that if you do a poor job, they’ll tell 22 million people.”
When you started out in the HVAC industry, did you ever think that someday you’d be marketing your company with online photo albums and short 140-character posts? How could you imagine any of this since Facebook and Twitter didn’t even exist back then?
Last week my husband and I went off the grid for a few days while camping in northern Michigan. It was a great escape, and it was made even more adventurous by the fact that we were responsible for chaperoning 11 teenagers from our church. All told, there were roughly 120 teenagers divided into 10 groups, each led by two adults.
There have long been cries from the business community that excessive federal regulation can strangle a company’s ability to compete and thrive in the market. But lately lawmakers actually seem to be paying attention. HVAC is a heavily regulated industry, and each facet of the industry is engaging with government in different ways to alleviate the effects of regulation.
Heating, Airconditioning, Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) held its fourth annual legislative fly-in in mid-May. According to Talbot Gee, executive vice president and COO of HARDI, the 2011 fly-in was HARDI’s largest, with more than 60 members attending nearly 200 meetings on Capitol Hill in one day.
With the weather heating up, the no-cool calls are pouring in, and the long hours are beginning. And, because it’s summer, those long hours can often be required in sweltering conditions. So during this time of year, it’s especially important to make sure every employee is educated on the hazards of working in the sun and heat.
HVACR instructors are facing a host of challenges these days, from teaching with new technologies to recruiting for full enrollment to dealing with funding cuts. Yet many are rising to meet these challenges with success and are optimistic about the future.
While many in the industry still use the term votech, or vocational/technical, to describe the educational programs that prepare individuals to enter the HVAC trade, that term is being increasingly discarded. Instead of votech, educators and administrators are using the phrase Career and Technical Education, or CTE.