Mike Weil, Director Communications, National Comfort Institute, Inc.

Mike Weil

With this being my last editorial of 2018, I thought I might revisit some of this year’s events and how they will set the stage for 2019.

The biggest news this year comes from the results of the mid-term elections and the changes they wrought on the political landscape of our country.

The good news: Voter turnout reached the highest level seen in a mid-term election since 1914. The bad news: the mid-terms brought about the potential for a lame 2019 Congress with the Republican majority diminished. Democrats won control of the House of Representatives. Republicans did retain and expand control of the Senate. This will impact President Trump’s agenda for the upcoming year. Can you say stalemate?

This year certainly was one for positive change: Washington Times writer Robert Knight summarizes by citing many of the administration’s accomplishments including tax reductions, the Supreme Court appointees, and much more. Read his article at http://ncilink.com/Trump.

The Economy

In addition, we have seen the jobless rate in this country fall and the economy really pick up. This bodes well for small businesses and individuals alike. Let’s face it,  growth is a six-letter word and for the HVAC Industry in general, the High-Performance Contractors in particular, the Trump economy is a very good thing.

Balancing that out, however, the tariff wars against China as well as our allies could have long-term negative impacts on the economy and U.S. businesses. Farmers are already feeling the heat. What do these tariff wars mean to the Performance-Based Contractor™? Only time will tell, but upwardly spiraling costs could be in all our futures.

Refrigerants

Furthermore, in 2018, refrigerant phaseouts were back in the news because this year is the deadline for the U.S. and other developed nations to stop producing HFCs. Then, next year, HFC use must be reduced by 10%. By 2036, it faces a reduction of 85%.

For the HVAC industry in general, the High-Performance Industry in particular, the Trump economy is a very good thing

That has major implications for the cost of manufacturing, selling, and installing high efficiency HVAC equipment. One includes adding costs to consumers in a time when everyone is looking for ways to save energy dollars. It does, however, present opportunities for High-Performance Contractors™ who can help customers obtain the energy savings and comfort they want and deserve.

Technician Shortage

One constant theme, year-after-year, is the growing need to attract young people into this industry. The fact is, with the median HVAC technician age today somewhere in the mid to late 40s, we are seeing shrinkage, not growth in the number of people in the trades. So where have all the HVAC technicians gone? How do we turn that around?

One way is to get involved in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs. STEM and our industry really go hand in hand, and you should get involved in your local high school and community college programs. This could be a great way to educate and recruit young people.

And finally, 2018 marks the end of the first year of this magazine’s existence. Join us in celebrating this long and strange milestone for the High-Performance HVAC industry as we look forward to 2019 and beyond, providing the voice for that industry in the pages of this magazine.

So as 2018 comes to a close, here’s to a very happy, healthy, and profitable 2019.