April 23-29. Mark it down on your calendar. Better yet, begin preparing for National Indoor Comfort Week (NICW) now. This may be January, but April will be here sooner than you think. Now is the time for contractor owners to begin planning with their employees how they want to demonstrate how important their line of work is in their respective business area and around the world.

C'mon. The heating and cooling industry is a critical industry. Not only does it employ hundreds of thousands of people, thanks to you, millions are able to work and live in comfortable, clean, and safe environments.

It's time to get on the radar screen, though. It's time to drum up media attention.


The dedicated week is the birth child of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Two years ago, the organization wanted to honor the nation's HVACR professionals and came up with this seven-day extravaganza. It's a great idea. Unfortunately, up until now, it has not been an extravaganza.

Then again, you, and only y-o-u, can make it so.

Simply put, the week is set aside to honor the men and women who make our buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It has the support of Congress, which endorsed NICW last year. "On a day where the temperature is expected to go above 80 degrees, I am particularly grateful for air conditioning that makes it easier to do our jobs each day," said Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), who introduced the resolution in April 2005. "This resolution simply supports the goals and ideas of National Indoor Comfort Week...."

Rep. Manzullo also noted that people take the HVACR industry for granted until they don't have heat in the winter or cool air in the summer. Yet because of your work, the nation's food and medicines are safe, there is clean air to breathe, and the economy flourishes.

"It is because of air conditioning that many parts of our great nation, particularly in the South and West, have grown into booming areas, creating new jobs and enhancing our economy," he said.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who co-sponsored the resolution, added that this industry has helped to drive the economy by creating thousands of good-paying jobs every year.

"The heating and cooling industry has also set the standard for creating innovative, environmentally safe products that help preserve and strengthen our environment for future generations to enjoy," she said.

"Clearly, given the unique contributions of the small businesses in this industry, it is only fitting that we find ways to recognize the exceptional work of these service men and women."


In the end, talk is cheap. In 2006, it's best that contractors show people what they are worth. There are many ways to do this, too.

Prior to the start of April, it would be advantageous for every contractor to contact their local newspaper, radio station, and/or television station to alert them of National Indoor Comfort Week.

One could even volunteer to write an editorial for the local newspaper for that week, as many newspapers like to print guest columns and editorials. Just ask for word length and they will be more than happy to inform you.

When it comes to radio and TV, let each know that you are happy to be interviewed. In the end, you can let your city or town know how important this industry is and that you are willing to supply them with great details.

Of course, if you have a weeklong celebration at your place of business, you can encourage people to come in and learn more about the industry, what you have to offer, and possibly some sales you are offering for the week.

While ACCA may have started this process, NICW is not just for its members. It's for one and all. Next month, ACCA plans to provide a Website (www.comfortweek.com) detailing what is planned and what contractors can and should do for this special week.

If you did something special last year for NICW, e-mail me accordingly. I'd be happy to let fellow readers know what you did and what you may have planned for 2006. Get those creative juices flowing.

Mark Skaer, Senior Editor: 618-239-0288: 248-244-3925 (fax): markskaer@achrnews.com

Publication date: 01/23/2006