Survey: Almost Half of HVAC Contractors Aren’t Prepared for New Regulations

There is no question that air conditioning replacement must be a top concern for anyone looking at the record high temperatures that the country has been bathed in up to this point. AC heating and cooling near me is becoming a top search term for people all throughout the country. They want to know where to turn to get the assistance they need so their AC heating and cooling unit can work.

One of the most frightening things for anyone dealing with the heat is the harsh reality that exposure to heat waves can literally be deadly for those who don’t have a great air conditioner and ventilation system. It is not often reported in the news as much as it should be, but there are literally thousands of people who die of exposure to heat in any given year. This is true in the rich countries as well as the less rich countries. Access to an AC ventilation system is a must-have for people of all walks of life. When you know these facts, it becomes abundantly clear that you must take action to get a great AC unit installed on your property and properly maintain it for the best possible results.

hvacregulationsA number of new regulations affecting the HVAC industry are set to go into effect throughout 2015, but many HVAC contractors aren’t ready.

Many of the regulations are designed to reduce the effect of HVAC systems on the environment and gradually phase out refrigerants that are thought to contribute to global warming.

As soon as next month, the Energy Department will institute a new rule for determining the efficiency of commercial HVAC, refrigeration and water heating systems. The rule will allow manufacturers to use computer modeling and mathematical tools to evaluate energy efficiency and predict the performance of non-tested models, and that’s just the beginning.

New regulations regarding air conditioning energy efficiency have already gone into effect, and HVAC contractors are struggling to adapt in affected regions.

Many regions are seeing an increase in Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio minimums. SEER ratings divide the cooling output during a typical cooling season by the total output of electrical energy over the same period. Units with higher SEER ratings are more energy efficient. Under the new regulations, HVAC contractors will need to shift to selling and installing systems that are more energy efficient.

However, according to a survey conducted by Emerson Climate Technologies Inc., a startling 48% of contractors still don’t know about the regulations or aren’t sure how they affect their business. The survey compiled data from 698 contractors surveyed via email near the end of 2014.

According to Frank Landwehr, vice president of AC marketing at Emerson, this is actually better than previous years. In 2013, 75% of HVAC contractors were unfamiliar with the regulations that affected their industry.

“The constant changes in regulations require HVAC contractors to make a commitment to training and learning to stay on top of the changes and up to speed,” says Bo Thomas, President at Thomas HVAC. “I know at Thomas HVAC we had to really emphasize a training program to make sure we were staying out in front of the industry.”

Contractors were also found to be more optimistic about the regional standard changes than they had been in previous years, and only 17% were worried that the regulations would hurt their ability to compete or remain in business once the changes were enacted.

In fact, many HVAC contractors are now faced with the opportunity to sell more higher-efficiency systems than ever before, and 60% of the surveyed contractors believed that their sales of systems rated 16 SEER and higher would increase.