HVAC Industry Annual Report: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NEWSMAGAZINE SINCE 1926 March 12, 2012 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Contractors Ready to Conquer Challenges T By Joanna R. Turpin Of TheNEWSStaff he economy has been tough for many HVAC contractors over the last few years, and the signals are mixed as to whether things will get better in2012. On the positive side, construction employment rose in 28 states and the District of Columbia between December 2010 and December 2011, Industry Responds to Regional Enforcement Proposals By Herb Woerpel Of TheNEWSStaff W ith the new regional effi-ciency standards for resi-dential furnaces, air condi-tioners, and heat pumps set to become effective beginning in May 2013, many in the industry are wondering: How does the Department of Energy (DOE) intend to enforce these standards? The DOE regional efficiency standards will divide the country into three regions — North, Southeast, and Southwest — and the minimum efficiency standards for each equip-ment typewill vary by the region inwhich it is installed. The new rules become effective in May 2013 for nonweatherized furnaces, and in January 2015 for weatherized furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps. DOE has proposed three possible approaches to enforcing the new standards, and HVAC associations recently commented • See ENFORCEMENT | page 25 the largest number of states with year-over-year employment gains since November 2007, according to an analysis by the Associated Gen-eralContractors of America (AGC). Looking at 2012, AGC expects modest gains in construc-tion employment, as demand for some private-sector construction projects improves. On the other hand, the U.S.Census Bureau announced that only 302,000 new homes were sold in 2011, which is 6.2 percent below the 2010 figure. Existing home prices continue to decline in many parts of the country as well. And the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently projected that economic growth will only be 2 percent this year and 1.1 percent in 2013, while unemployment may creep higher to 9.2 percent by next year. Inits 2012Construction Hiring and Business Outlook report, AGC noted that construction firms will remain caught between increasing fyi hvac briefs Contractors • AirTight (Charlotte, N.C.) welcomed Ra-chel Daschler as pro-duction coordinator. • Con Edison (New York) honored its 2011 top performing contrac-tors, Robison Oil Corp. (Elmsford, N.Y.), Bob Mims Heating and Air Conditioning (Staten Island, N.Y.), Dundee Plumbing and Heating Inc. (Jamaica, N.Y.), AFJ Gas Heat Service Inc. (Bronx, N.Y.), and 6208 Home Appliances Inc. (Brooklyn, N.Y.). • Armistead Mechanical Inc. Ser-vices (Waldwick, N.J.) renewed its Mechanical Service Contrac-tors of America (MSCA) STAR qualified contractor designation. Manufacturers Outlook High-end system sales are lower now due to fewer incentives; however, manufacturers say there is a market for these systems with homeowners concerned about energy savings and comfort. See story on page 10. Experience DIGITAL EDITION THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY: • Worthington Cylinders (Colum-bus, Ohio) issued a voluntary recall of its MAP-Pro, Propylene, and MAPP cylinders due to potential leakage. Affected cylinders were sold before Jan. 15, 2012, and are black or yellow in color. Continued onpage4 health care and materials costs and stagnant amounts for what they can charge. The asso-ciation concluded that while conditions will improve, the industry should not expect a broad-based recovery until 2013 at the earliest. Slow Recovery The economy will continue to be a concern until there is more stability in general, said • See CHALLENGES | page 16 ina Whole New Way! January 2012 Issue: Intelligent HVAC Products SPONSO SPONSORED BY Get exclusive, interactive iPad content at www.achrnews.com/ipad. FREE download of this issue available through the iTunesApp Store.