While midsummer is a somewhat slower time for Snips, with most trade shows taking the season off, it should be prime air-conditioner sales season for many contractors.

I've heard several radio commercials in the Detroit area urging homeowners to buy now, before the worst of the summer heat arrives.

Of course, when you see this editorial, summer will be in full force, with 90ºF days in much of the country.

At least one ad I heard was discussing the federally mandated move to higher efficiency HVAC equipment. In the ad, which was written to sound like an interview, the contractor was briefly explaining the new regulation. He said that for many Michigan residents, it made more sense to buy a lower-efficiency unit now, while existing supplies last, since homeowners likely wouldn't use their air-conditioner enough to recoup the added costs of a high-efficiency unt.

I thought the ad was smart marketing, even if a one-minute radio spot isn't enough time to explain a complex federal regulation like the seasonal energy-efficiency rating. Obviously, he's hoping to pique interest in - and worry - enough listeners that they'll call. I bet more than a few will.

The commercial made me wonder how residential contractors are faring under the new rules. Do they have enough 10-SEER units in stock or are homeowners opting to buy 13-SEER equipment without much complaining? When Snips wrote about the big change almost a year ago, predictions were mixed (See "Changing seasons," September 2005).

Why don't you send me an update on what 13 SEER has meant for your market? Contact me at Snips magazine, BNP Media, 2401 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 700, Troy, MI 48084. You can also send an e-mail to mcconnellm@bnpmedia.com. Please include your title and contact info. We may contact some of you for a story or run some of the letters on this editorial page.

All the news that's fit to send

Are you receiving Snips' new e-newsletter? If you can excuse a shameless plug, I think you should be. Assembled by James J. Siegel, our associate editor, it includes an overview and news briefs from the current print issue, links to stories on Snips' Web site and a peek at what will be in next month's issue.

It also includes "Sheet metal in the news," a listing of recent and late-breaking news stories dealing with HVAC and sheet metal issues in the mainstream press. It's always interesting to me to see what newspapers and consumer magazines find newsworthy about the industry.

We've included links to articles on women in construction, asbestos exposure among sheet metal workers and duct cleaning at an Illinois junior high school.

If that sounds interesting to you, go to www.snipsmag.com and click on the e-newsletter sign-up box on the right side of the screen.

Letters: Likes magazine's new look

I have been wanting to send you a note to congratulate you on the great new look of Snips.

I know of the reluctance to change the format of something like your magazine, but I believe the changes really are an improvement.

Keep up the good work!

George "Butch" Welsch
Welsch Heating and Cooling Co.
St. Louis