Local Efficiency Ratings Have a Silver Lining

Did I miss something in B. Checket-Hanks’ article “AHRI Fights Regional Efficiency” [June 15]? It sounds like the AHRI (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) does not want local jurisdictions to require new HVAC equipment to have a higher efficiency rating than the minimum federal standards.

Now I don’t have a great fondness for the differences in local building regulations any more than anyone else. I owned an HVACR company that covered three states and more than a dozen counties. However, this cloud may have a silver lining.

If the federal government had not passed legislation on 13 SEER minimum efficiency, what would we be selling? Right, 10 SEER equipment. I may be wrong, but most contractors would agree that they make more money on high-efficiency systems than on the standard efficiency units. Now, if a local jurisdiction required equipment above 13 SEER, the pricing would be increased accordingly. Not only is higher-efficiency equipment more lucrative for the contractor, but the savings in energy and ultimate benefit to the environment should be appealing to all of us.

I just do not understand the reasoning behind the quotes made by “industry representatives” in the article. None of them really made a valid case against local jurisdictions requiring higher-efficiency ratings.

Dick Wirz
Refrigeration Training Services LLC
Clifton, Va.

An Insider's Perspective of SkillsUSA Competition

I appreciateThe NEWS’coverage of SkillsUSA National Championship in the Aug. 3 issue (“SkillsUSA Hosts Record Number of Competitors”). It was my honor to be a judge at that event. Having been an Ohio SkillsUSA judge, I have wanted to go to the national for some time. What an eye opener this was; it was a fun-filled day.

SkillsUSA promises that the judges would have a long day, and sure enough we did. They also said they would feed us the best sack lunch that SkillsUSA can buy, and they did what they promised.

The students in SkillsUSA are among the top 2 percent of all students in the country. The contestants took a written exam and demonstrated skills in brazing, refrigeration components service, air measurement and troubleshooting, refrigerant recovery, and electrical troubleshooting. During the competition they worked on refrigerated display cases, small package units, furnaces, and split systems.

Young people ... they are our future.

Bennie Barnes, Director of Training
Habegger Corp., Carrier Div.
Cincinnati, OH

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Publication date:10/19/2009