The Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the National Association of Home Builders were elated at news of the Oct. 3 passage of the $700 billion bailout of the nation’s financial industry.

The bill allows the government to take over some of the nation’s most troubled mortgage debt, along with other moves designed to shore up the country’s housing and financial markets.

“This legislation was absolutely essential to prevent a collapse in our financial system that would have inflicted devastating damage to our nation’s economy,” said Sandy Dunn, NAHB chairwoman and a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va. “Hopefully, this will set the stage for rebuilding confidence, restoring the availability of credit for businesses and consumers, and reversing the downward spiral in home prices and rising foreclosures that are root causes of today’s financial turmoil.”

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which passed the U.S. House 263-171 after an earlier version failed, includes several components considered crucial to HVAC contractors, the ACCA said.

The bill extends a $500 energy tax credit for homeowners who purchase high-efficiency equipment in 2009 and allows commercial building tax deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot until 2013.

It also extends until Dec. 31 a $2,000 tax credit for builders who put high-efficiency appliances, including furnaces and air conditioners, into new houses.

The ACCA and NAHB lobbied hard for the bill’s approval. The NAHB’s Dunn said her group’s work would continue.

“We will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to take whatever other steps are necessary to put housing and the economy back on track,” Dunn said.