The top HVAC stories in 2005 dominated the pages of The NEWS. These included rising health care costs, the complicated transition to 13 SEER, skyrocketing gas prices, and the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast.
HVAC will never be the same. Records were shattered, hurricanes were fierce, and 13 SEER, well, let's just say the transition has been interesting. Industry insiders are predicting 2005 to hit a record number 8 million in total shipments. According to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), shipments averaged approximately 7.4 million for the first 10 months of 2005, up 12 percent from 2004.

Hurricane Katrina inundated the Gulf of Mexico, drastically changing the landscape of New Orleans and many other cities. The hurricane changed the way business is done. Damaged fuel lines, refineries, and shipping lines created unprecedented shortages and price surges in energy and materials affecting everyone's bottom line.

In a repeat appearance (the No. 1 story of 2004), the biggest story of the year was the transition to 13 SEER, which occupied most of the HVAC industry's time in 2005. With Jan. 23, 2006, fast approaching, 10, 11, and 12 SEER products had to be phased out, trucks and warehouses had to be resized, and inventory strategies had to be determined.

The year 2005 was one of great challenge, but HVAC doesn't seem worse for the wear. For a look back at the top stories of 2005, read these articles in this week's issue:

  • "Ready Or Not, Here It Comes"

  • "Health Care Hurts Bottom Line"

  • "Unions' Future Questioned"

  • "Winter Heating Troubles Predicted"

  • "Gas Prices Skyrocket"

  • "Johnson Controls Expands Frontiers And Acquires York"

  • "Energy Policy Act Becomes Law"

  • "Hurricanes Change HVAC"

    Publication date: 12/26/2005