Over the next few months, several trade shows will get underway and will confront new issues affecting the industry.

February is one of those months when I really like my job. Outside my office window, about 7 inches of snow currently cover the ground. Those of you who aren't used to snow may find it romantic or beautiful, but the fluffy white powder quickly turns to ugly gray slush as city and county road crews clear the freeways.

That's why I'm glad my job as Snips editor allows me to travel during the coldest months of the year, usually to warm-weather locales such as Texas and California. This month, I'll be in Orlando, Fla., again. I was just there in January for the International Builders Show, and this time I'm attending the AHR Expo and the International Roofing Expo, formerly the National Roofing Contractors Association's annual trade show.

Two shows, back to back, in the same city will mean a long time out of the office, but I know how important these events are to Snips readers (and a couple weeks in Florida doesn't hurt, either). Look for coverage in future issues.

In March, I'll be heading to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association show in Las Vegas and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in Austin, Texas. It will be Snips - and my - first visit to NADCA's show in several years. I'm looking forward to seeing how the duct-cleaning industry has changed. I'm seeing duct cleaning written up increasingly in newspaper articles and talked about on radio shows as a way to improve home air quality. This could be a very important time in the industry.

When I interviewed former NADCA President John Srofe in 2003, he told me the duct-cleaning industry had changed in ways he could never have imaged in the 20 years he's been in it. What started out as a group offering to remove "dirt" from HVAC systems now talks about mold, germs and biocides.

"What's coming through the ducts is more important than it's ever been," Srofe said. "The whole industry has gotten so much more technical."

I'm betting that's even truer this time.

The ACCA has also been promoting its trade show, saying they expect big crowds to hit Austin, Texas, a city known for its music and nightlife. I've never been to Texas capital city, but I've been told it's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it. The ACCA's show is also a great chance to hear about what issues are affecting residential air-conditioning contractors. What I like about the ACCA is it has a lot of small and midsize companies as members that have concerns and problems different from some of the other groups whose events I attend. It makes them interesting for me and hopefully, interesting articles for you.

Letters - Looking for rare equipment

I'm trying to find something and hoping you can help me. A company out of Texas, I want to say they were called Kemp, but I'm not sure, used to make a disk that went on a grinder and was used to knock down Pittsburgh seams. I was told they went out of business or stopped making the disk. I haven't been able to find anything like it since.

My shop does a lot of heavier metal, 18 and 16 gauge. Nothing worked as well as this disk. It was expensive for what it was, but worth it just because it worked so well.

I'm wondering if you know anything about this. If so, I would very much appreciate any info you could send me.

Rik Johnson

Custom Air Conditioning

Gahanna, Ohio