HVAC Annual Report: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 March 18, 2013 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Contractors Optimistic About Year Ahead By Joanna R. Turpin Of The NEWS Staff A fter several tough years, there are some signs that the economy may finally be picking up steam. Asso-ciated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC) reported that the nation’s non-residential construction spending increased 0.3 percent in December 2012, with year-over-year total nonresidential construction spend-ing up 1.2 percent. The trade group predicts that nonresidential construction spending will expand 5.2 percent in 2013. On the residential side, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that for 2012, overall building permits increased 30.3 percent and housing starts grew 28.1 percent. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is fore-casting that single-family starts will grow 22 percent in 2013 and that single-family con-struction will grow another 30 percent in 2014. Contractors such as Bobby Ring, presi-dent and CEO, Meyer & Depew Co. Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) chairman, believe these signs point to a positive year ahead. “I think that the residential replace-ment market will continue to be strong and that commercial replacement will begin to show signs of life, as the postponed backlog of work can’t be put off much longer.” Commercial Growth The commercial market has been taking a repair-rather-than-replace approach for quite some time, but Ring believes this is changing. “We had a very strong January in commercial replacement, and I believe it is a sign that businesses have decided that they’ve put off replacing older systems long enough. They know that it’s time to take action to prevent prolonged and costly breakdowns, as well as improve energy efficiency.” James P. Bartolotta, executive vice presi-dent, Air Comfort, Broadview, Ill., and board member of Mechanical Service Contractors • See OPTIMISTIC | page 26 ‘Obamacare’ Creates Uncertainty for Small Businesses By Jen Anesi Of The NEWS Staff fyi hvac briefs Commercial Contractors • Poole & Kent Co. of Florida (Miami) received the first place Excellence in Safety award from the Mechanical Contractors Association of South Florida (MCASF) for exemplary safety practices and performance in the 50,001-150,000 man-hour worked category. • QuesTec Mechanical (Columbia, Mo.) and FPG Commercial Services (Forest Hill, Md.) joined the ABM Franchising Group (New York). T he Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), widely recognized as Obam-acare, was signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010. It is intended to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and lower the over-all cost of health care in the U.S. But, as the law is implemented in phases over several years, some HVACR business owners are fearful of the pro-gram’s potentially detrimental effect on the cost of employee health care coverage. Manufacturers • M&G DuraVent (Vacaville, Calif.) announced its PolyPro single-wall, concentric, and flex has gained approval from Bradford White (Ambler, Pa.) for all Power Direct Vent tank-type water heaters that accept PVC, CPVC, or ABS venting. • Testo Inc. (Sparta, N.J.) ap-pointed Emily Ruffing as mar-keting communications specialist, portables products division. Continued on page 4 Wait and See Charlie McCrudden, vice president of government relations for the Air Condi-tioning Contractors of America (ACCA), • See OBAMACARE | page 12 confidently moving forward An increase in new home builds and multifamily construction is leading some manufacturers to be optimistic about the year ahead. Flip to page 29 to learn what other factors are helping to drive industry confidence in 2013. DIGITAL EDITION THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY: AHR EXPO COVERAGE EXPANDS Comprehensive AHR Expo coverage now features a variety of video booth th tour tours. s. Go to www.achrnews.com/AHR-Expo for sights and sounds of the show.