ARLINGTON , Va. - In response to an effort spearheaded by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the U.S. House of Representatives is set to designate April 18-24, 2004, as National Indoor Comfort Week. ACCA is encouraging HVACR contractors to embrace the opportunity "to showcase the positive impact that the HVACR industry has on health, safety, and overall quality of life."

"This is an exciting opportunity for contractors across the country to ‘show off' how proud we are of our industry, and our employees, while reminding everyone of how important we are to the modern world," said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO.

On March 2, a resolution officially designating the week was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Small Business Committee. House Resolution 548, which is scheduled for approval this week, recognizes "the contribution of environmental systems and the technicians who install and maintain them." In the measure, the House of Representatives resolves to support "the goals and ideals of National Indoor Comfort Week as proposed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America." (For an excerpt from the resolution, see the sidebar below.)

Recognizing The Impact

"Few things have impacted American life as much as modern indoor environmental systems, yet they have become such a basic part of everyday living that few consumers stop to think about their importance," said Stalknecht. "This contributes to a perceived image problem on the part of many in the HVACR contracting industry who fail to understand just how vital they are to their communities. At the same time, a lack of public outreach on the importance of indoor comfort makes it more difficult for contractors to expand into new, more profitable value-added products and services.

"We salute Rep. Manzullo and the U.S. Congress for recognizing the importance of our industry, and urge everyone in the HVACR community to use National Indoor Comfort Week as a tool to showcase the depth of our industry's impact on American life."

"This year we are trying to get this concept off the ground, introducing it to our industry," noted Stalknecht. "Our goal is to get the ball rolling this year and then make it a bigger splash in 2005, giving contractors their chance to add flair and flavor."

He added that ACCA would like to work with its partners in the industry to give National Indoor Comfort Week a "unified effort."

Kevin Holland, ACCA vice president for Communications and Membership Services, said that ACCA has received good support from the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI).

"They have offered to help us out and aided us in passing the resolution in Congress," said Holland.

"Getting the resolution passed in Congress was our first objective. Getting a resolution passed in Congress the first time is not real easy. It took some time. That was the focus of our effort this year. We will eventually get together with chapter members and manufacturer partners to plan how we can make the 2005 celebration much bigger on a national scale.

"A lot of the ACCA chapters are sending out press releases and planning things on their local level. Our members love the idea."

Stalknecht asserted that it is important to get local media exposure to the event and get a grassroots campaign going. "It is not so much about getting the issue circulating in Washington, D.C., as it is about getting it into main street America where contractors work and technicians reside."

"This is not just about ACCA members," said Holland. "We want everyone in the industry to embrace this. And this is also about celebrating our technicians and telling people how important their work is," added Holland.

Contractor members on the local level will be asked for their feedback on how to promote National Indoor Comfort Week in 2005. Stalknecht said he plans to meet with various chapters in the fall to discuss their ideas.

He said celebration is timed to coincide with the upcoming cooling season to help air conditioning contractors to "jump-start the season."

Official National Indoor Comfort Week logos can be downloaded for use in print and online from the association's Web site,

Sidebar: Excerpt From House Resolution 548

Whereas indoor environmental systems have saved millions of lives and improved the health of our citizens;

Whereas, because of environmental systems, food is preserved, modern medicine is possible, and our children breathe easier;

Whereas the men and women who design, manufacture, install, and maintain heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems play a crucial role in our economy;

Whereas professional certified technicians save our nation millions of dollars each year through the design and installation of more efficient equipment that provides essential comfort while reducing energy usage; and

Whereas the Air Conditioning Contractors of America have proposed designating April 18 through 24, 2004, as National Indoor Comfort Week: Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives -

1. Recognizes the contributions that environmental systems have made to our quality of life, including through reducing energy use;

2. Recognizes the technicians who install and maintain environmental systems and thanks them for the application of their knowledge to increasing energy efficiency; and

3. Supports the goals and ideals of National Indoor Comfort Week as proposed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Publication date: 04/12/2004