As new federal efficiency standards for HVAC construction take effect Jan. 1, a new survey by Emerson Climate Technologies finds many HVAC market contractors are still unaware — while a few see opportunity.

An email survey of 618 HVAC sales contractors conducted in early 2014 found many still didn’t know that Jan. 1, new regional efficiency HVAC market regulations approved by the U.S. Energy Department go into force. But of those who are aware, 40 percent of commercial HVAC construction contractors in the northern U.S. and 42 percent of residential HVAC construction contractors see the changes as a moneymaking opportunity.

The new rules cover residential unitary air conditioning and heat pump systems, part-load efficiency requirements for light-commercial split, package and rooftop systems, and chillers.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about these upcoming regulations. Contractors are right to be concerned about how these regulations will affect their companies, however, we agree with those in the industry who see upsell opportunities for greater efficiency and comfort,” said Frank Landwehr, vice president of air-conditioning marketing at Emerson Climate Technologies. “During this change our job is to support our industry partners in helping to create technology options that will meet and exceed these regulations, and also to help educate both contractors and consumers with tools like our online resource AC and Heating Connect.”

Of those HVAC market contractors who are aware of the new regulations, 35 percent of residential contractors have spoken with someone regarding the rules and 55 percent of commercial contractors have consulted with an expert.