A majority of HVAC contractors - 77% - plan to convert to 13 SEER by the January 2006 deadline, but 12% still plan to aggressively sell 10 SEER after the transition deadline, according to a survey by Emerson Climate Technologies.

The survey is the second in a series of 13 SEER market surveys the company is conducting over the course of 2005. It also showed that of the contractors taking steps to prepare for the transition, 33% are beginning to develop a strategic marketing plan. Karl Zellmer, vice president of air conditioning sales of Emerson's Copeland Corp., said in a statement that number is a good sign, but that it should be higher.

“With 77% of the contractors moving ahead, it is crucial that forward-thinking contractors take advantage of the opportunities this transition offers and implement business changes to ensure success,” said Zellmer. “Only those contractors who are proactive will be positioned for a smooth transition.”