Emerson survey finds how contractors and distributors are gearing up for January's 13 SEER deadline.

ST. LOUIS - According to a recent survey, only one-third of contractors are taking steps to prepare for the upcoming transition to the 13 seasonal energy-efficiency rating standard.

The survey, the first in a series of 13-SEER market surveys that Emerson Climate Technologies will conduct over the course of the year, asked 571 HVAC contractors and distributors to gauge their awareness, planning and actions to prepare for the 13-SEER regulation, which goes into effect Jan. 23.

"While the Emerson Climate Technologies survey shows that contractors are beginning to think about the coming 13-SEER regulation, it is evident that much more planning needs to be done and more action needs to be taken," said Karl Zellmer, vice president of air-conditioning sales for Emerson's Copeland Corp. "It is important that contractors begin to prepare now. They need to sit down, take a strategic look at their business and make sure they adequately plan for this massive transition. There are many details they should consider in the planning stage."

The survey also found that 30 percent of respondents have developed a marketing plan for their 13-SEER transition, while 26 percent are preparing for the increased size of the equipment. About 45 percent of contractors and distributors have conducted training for their employees, and another 53 percent have talked to their suppliers about the transition. Finally, 28 percent have attended product information meetings.

To view the first 13 SEER survey results, go to www.eme rsonclimatecontractor.com.