2013 is on the horizon and we will be putting this current year behind us. Time to shake off the economic slumps of the past and move forward. However, we know that it isn’t that easy. Next year will bring its own challenges even as the economy is improving. For our December 2012 cover story, I spoke to some HVAC and sheet metal industry experts to get their take on 2013. You can read it here. There were a couple things that stood out.

First, there are new furnace standards set to go into effect on May 1. According to Charlie McCrudden, vice president of government affairs for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, there will be some confusion next year as we get closer to this May 1 date. Certain regions of the country will be mandated to install a furnace with a specific efficiency rating. The confusion is twofold. Contractors will need to educate their customers as to why they will need to pay more for a new furnace. In some cases, they will need a new furnace because manufacturers will stop making replacement parts for their old furnace. Also, how is this new standard from the Department of Energy going to be enforced? That is still a mystery.

Second, Obamacare. It is the law of the land. President Obama has won his second term and the Affordable Care Act is already in motion. Next year, there are several provisions of the act that will kick in. By 2014, the individual mandate begins. This means that every person must have some sort of health insurance, whether it is through an employer or through the state. Business owners will need to know the law and comply.

These are just two issues that we have not heard the last of. And Snips will probably be brining you more news about this in 2013. And speaking of 2013, we hope to see many of you at the 2013 AHR Expo in Dallas. If you are there for the event, which runs from Jan. 28-30, stop by our booth. We always love to talk with our readers.

Finally, have a great holiday and a happy New Year. We wish you all the best. Stay safe and stay profitable in 2013.