Heard enough about mold and moisture? Practically every industry association meeting had this topic on the radar screen in one way, shape, or microbial form in 2003.

What about the merits of CO2 or R-410A as a refrigerant in various applications? Both were certainly tossed around a lot in industry circles this year.

Chances are there will be more discussion and debate regarding these issues in association and educational sessions in the year ahead. It is also likely the effects of rising insurance costs will be on the minds of contractors in 2004.

Looking back on 2003, it was a very productive year for the industry, even though the economy was rather sluggish the first six months (and some would say longer). It appears the industry is within reach of shipping 6.8 million central air conditioners and heat pumps, which would be a new record. The final statistics will not be available until early next year, but at the recent 50th anniversary celebration of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), outgoing 2003-2004 chairman Tom Bettcher made a point of noting the strong possibility of a record year to members.

Take a look at "2003: The Year In Review" in this issue for a brief review of the top stories of 2003, along with the accompanying stories that cover each of these topics in more detail.

- Mark Skaer

Publication date: 12/29/2003