I had a call from a marketing lady last October (I often get such calls) who wanted to pick my brain as to what would happen when our industry had to provide residential air-conditioning units with a minimum of 13-SEER efficiency. She didn't tell me who she represented or why she was asking. I thought you might be interested in my reply.
Because many of my articles in SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES can be found by Internet search engines, scarcely a week goes by when I don't receive a question from a consumer asking an HVACR question that he or she has taken the time to research on the Web.
While the most exciting trends and technological changes are found in the equipment market, the fact is, most of your business profits probably come from the little parts and pieces that make all of those fancy systems work. So, when I saw some new ideas in thermostats at this year's AHR Exhibition in Chicago, my interest was immediately piqued.
In last month's issue, I wrote about the new 13-SEER residential air conditioning products and discussed why most manufacturers aren't making the change to R-410A more quickly. However, despite all the hubbub about meeting the new efficiency standards, there were some other interesting new technologies and ideas shown at the Exhibition that are certainly worth discussing.
The 2006 AHR (Air-conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration) Expo that was held at McCormick Place Center in Chicago last January 23-25 was the largest in history. And although such brands as Carrier and Trane continue to be notably absent, one of the first companies to stop attending (Lennox International) was back in full force.
At a regional meeting of supply-house owners and managers, a branch manager for a large company came over to talk with me. During our conversation, I asked what the biggest problem that he as a manager had to deal with in the business, and I was rather surprised by his answer, given the size and scope of his company.