Air conditioner shipments break record in 2005

ARLINGTON, Va. - For the fourth consecutive year, manufacturers shipped a record number of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps, according to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

More than 8.6 million units were shipped in 2005, a 16 percent increase over 2004. Annual shipments have exceeded 5 million units every year since 1995.

The institute reports that a strong U.S. economy, continued growth in housing starts and rebuilding in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast all contributed to the record year for air-conditioning and heat pump manufacturers.

More than 590,000 units were shipped in December, a 45 percent increase from December 2004. This was due in part to a last-minute flurry of shipments prior to the Jan. 23 start of the new 13 seasonal energy-efficiency ratio standard. Manufacturers were clearing out the remaining 10-SEER units to make room for the new models.

ARI says its not sure if the record shipments will continue, but officials added that if high energy prices stay, more homeowners might opt to upgrade to higher-efficiency equipment.

Fedders Corp. forms air-treatment division

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. - In an effort to streamline the delivery of indoor air quality products, Fedders Corp. will create a new business unit called Fedders Commercial/Industrial Air Treatment Products.

The new division will market all of the company's commercial and industrial air-treatment products under its Fedders, Addison, Eubank, Sun, Trion, Hermidifer and Envirco brands. The air-treatment products range from institutional and educational applications, to hotels, restaurants, clean rooms and hospitals.

Dave Schumacher will lead the new division, which the company is calling a "one-stop shop" for commercial and industrial air-treatment products.

"At Fedders, we cool, heat, dehumidify, humidify and clean the air," said Schumacher. "Our goal is to become the indoor air treatment solutions provider of choice. With the tremendous potential for synergy across these businesses, combining them into one division was a natural evolution. So now, our sales people can really take one-stop shopping to our clients, especially national accounts like restaurants and hotel chains."

Esab achieves environmental certification

FLORENCE, S.C. - Esab Welding & Cutting Products has received group Environmental Management System certification for ISO: 14001.

The certification recognizes the company's work on environmental impact issues.

Esab believes that it is the first welding and cutting business in the steel industry to achieve group certification for multiple locations worldwide.

Audits were performed by Det Norske Veritas at 10 selected units worldwide, including locations in Europe and South America and Esab North America locations in Hanover, Pa.; Florence, S.C.; Ashtabula, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; and Monterrey, Mexico.

The International Organization for Standardization's 14001 certification requires companies to identify all environmental impacts and associated risks and then develop plans that minimize them.

"Esab is proud to be one of the first in our industry to achieve ISO: 14001 certification," said Andy Blanchard, president and CEO of Esab North America. "This demonstrates that we take our environmental responsibility very seriously. Esab has always worked to be a leader in technology and service to provide the very best welding and cutting solutions to our customers. We now feel assured that we can continue to do this while still being a good neighbor and community member at our plants worldwide."

Esab officials said they intend to continue to expand its certification to its activities in China and India.

Danfoss Turbocor to move operations

In an effort to expand operations and meet customer demand, Danfoss Turbocor Compressors Inc. reports that it will move its headquarters and manufacturing plant from Montreal to Tallahassee, Fla.

The company expects to be in a new 65,000-square-foot facility by June.

"We are excited about this move and the potential it offers to both our company and to our customers," said Joe Orosz, Danfoss Turbocor president. "The Tallahassee plant's production capacity potential of over 10,000 compressors per year, a production goal we will exceed in the next several years, will allow us to meet rapidly growing production demands and underscores Danfoss Turbocor's growing leadership position in the commercial air-conditioning market."

According to company officials, relocating the plant in Florida is part of a global strategy for Danfoss Turbocor to place manufacturing facilities in the markets they serve as well as positioning operations to take advantage of high-tech resources.

"Danfoss Turbocor's decision to locate in Tallahassee is excellent news for Florida," said Gov. Jeb Bush. "The high-tech, high-value manufacturing jobs created by this location are a welcome addition to Leon County and its surrounding Big Bend area. I wish Danfoss Turbocor much continued success from their new home base here in Florida, and I congratulate the entire economic development team that worked so hard to win this project for our state."

"We needed a location that could support growth in a high-technology product both from development and manufacturing perspectives," said Orosz. "In turn, we offered the advantage of being a major high-tech, nonpolluting employer that will contribute many high-tech jobs for the local economy."

Turbocor is locating in Innovation Park, home to the combined engineering school of Florida State and Florida A&M universities, as well as the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

Wrightsoft links to energy codes

LEXINGTON, Mass. - Wrightsoft announced that its latest version of Right-Suite Residential software now links directly to energy code software.

Users are able to keep using Right-Suite and will not have to enter information twice, officials said.

There are currently 42 states that are now requiring or requesting energy code compliance. According to Wrightsoft, its latest software will allow contractors to pass all of their work over to energy code software without duplicating records.

The new version of Right-Suite Residential will instantly show if a design is compliant with the specific code enforced in each of the states that requires energy code software. The software includes REScheck, the U.S. Department of Energy's software; Enguage, the state of Florida's energy code software; and REM/Rate for home-energy rating systems analysis.

"In Wisconsin, every building permit requires a REScheck printout," said Tom Beaulieu of Bay Area Services in Green Bay, Wis. "Eliminating the duplication of two inputs makes this feature alone pay for Right-Suite in a few months. We do hundreds of REScheck reports each year."

"Wrightsoft's focus is to streamline the design and sales process for those within the HVAC industry," said Chris Edgren, vice president of sales and marketing for Wrightsoft. "Nationwide, there is an increasing emphasis on proving energy compliance and on home-energy rating systems. We were the first to link to Enguage in Florida, and our success there makes it obvious we should extend to the rest of the country via REScheck and to home-energy rating systems via REM/Rate."

According to Wrightsoft, to use the direct link, designers can operate Right-Suite as they normally would, to compute the HVAC load or to design the system. With a few clicks, the information is already in the energy program and on the screen.

Hart & Cooley announces sweepstakes winners

Hart & Cooley announced the prizewinners of its "Five City Getaway" sweepstakes.

The contest awarded trips to five participating, authorized distributors and five licensed contractors, as well as $500 spending cash.

Winners had the option of visiting one of five cities: Chicago, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., San Diego and San Francisco. Although New Orleans was originally one of the five cities, Washington, D.C., was substituted as an option.

The following distributor winners chose Las Vegas as their trip destination: William A. Cotugno of Excelsior Manufacturing & Supply in Itasca, Ill.; Douglas M. Davis of Design Air in Kimberly, Wis.; Wayne T.D. Peiffer of All County HVACR Supply in Fishkill, N.Y.; and Jack Schoneveld of S. Franklin & Sons of Fairfield, N.J.

Distributor winner Thomas P. Riley of Riley Sales in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., chose San Francisco as his trip destination. Contractor winner Cynthia L. Kolstad of Maribel Heating & Plumbing Inc. in Kellnersville, Wis., also chose San Francisco.

The following contractor winners all chose Las Vegas as their trip destination: David J. Wilson Jr. from David J. Wilson Heating & Air Conditioning in Frankfort, Ill.; Joseph M. Oliver from H.J. Oliver Inc. in Morton, Pa.; Ann Marie Boucher of Mercury Energy Management Inc. in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; and James Fitzpatrick of Jay Jay SM in Staten Island, N.Y.

In addition to the grand prizes, 12 first-place and 24 second-place prizes were awarded to licensed contractors in the form of $500 and $250 prepaid debit cards.