As manufacturers help prepare the industry with new products to support upcoming regulatory changes, there is evidence that many contractors are not prepared to address these changes with their customers. A survey by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc., a business of Emerson, found that 74 percent of contractors are unaware of the upcoming 2015 standards for residential unitary air conditioning and heat pump systems. Nearly 80 percent of contractors are unaware of 2015 part-load efficiency requirements for light commercial split, package, and rooftop systems, and 84 percent are unaware of the 2015 chiller standards for air- and water-cooled chillers. Unlike the 2005 regulation changes, the 2015 changes will affect both residential and commercial efficiency standards.

The survey of 472 contractors, conducted via email by Emerson Climate Technologies in late 2013, found the majority of contractors were either unaware of the standards or had little idea how the standards would affect their businesses. Only 12 percent had started training their technicians or thinking about an inventory plan.

“This isn’t the first time the industry has gone through a SEER change or updates to residential and commercial efficiency standards, and Emerson Climate Technologies is ready with technology to meet and exceed minimum efficiency requirements. We want to help the industry get prepared for these changes, and we will be providing additional information on our new website, AC & Heating Connect,” said Frank Landwehr, vice president, air conditioning marketing, Emerson Climate Technologies. “We will continue to support the industry’s readiness with educational materials, technology updates, and insights from additional surveys.”

Emerson’s survey also found that for the residential changes, 18 percent of contractors had read about the transition and 16 percent had talked about the regulations with an OEM or distributor. Only 3 percent had started developing a marketing plan for the new standards.

On the commercial side, Emerson’s survey found only 8 percent of contractors had trained their service teams on the new rooftop or chiller standards. Very few, only 3 percent, had talked to an OEM about the changes. Four percent started developing a marketing plan to address these regulatory changes with their customers.

“Contractors cannot afford to be unprepared for these regulatory updates. They need to be researching the changes that are coming to their region; talking to OEMs, wholesalers, and manufacturers; and identifying opportunities for their businesses,” Landwehr said. “Now is the time for contractors to be actively seeking information from trustworthy sources.”

Information courtesy of Emerson Climate Technologies,

For more information on how contractors can sell high-efficiency systems and resources for homeowners, visit

Publication date: 3/17/2014 

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!