Many contractors are aware that after January 26, 2006, the minimum efficiency for a new unitary air conditioner or heat pump will be 13 SEER. Trade magazines likeThe Newshave already covered many ramifications of this change.

For the next several months, The News/Emerson Tech Tips columns will be going still deeper into the issue of the new 13-SEER minimum efficiency. We want to make sure that you, our contractor customers, are prepared in all aspects of your business, in your operations as well as in the field.

The first, possibly the most important, aspect to be covered is the difference in size between installed lower efficiency units and the 13-SEER models that will have to be used to replace them. Not only will we talk about size differences and square footage, we will look at key inventory, delivery, and manpower concerns.

Warehouse and transportation strategies will include shelving systems, offsite storage, and JIT ordering; the interior square footage required in service and delivery vehicles, the vehicles that can provide it, and jobsite delivery.

Larger, more sophisticated air conditioners and heat pumps may require more time to install, and possibly more people. Where will your staff be best utilized, in the field or in the shop? How can planning help smooth the way?

At the jobsite, you need to make sure you have enough room to work in and enough room for the new equipment. There are additional concerns for new construction and replacement work, to make sure customers get the efficiency and operation they expect. How do airflow, refrigerant charge, and coil size fit into the picture?

From there we will launch into the specifics of the installation, especially as it concerns higher efficiency equipment using newer refrigerants. What kind of tools and training will help keep your profits high? How do we keep the efficiency and comfort up where they should be?

Join us in the coming months as The News and Emerson Climate Technologies bring these subjects home to you in our Tech Tips. We'll bring you the information that every contractor should know ... that every contractor should make sure his technical staff knows.

For more information, click on the Emerson Climate Technologies logo above.