Survey Shows Most SEER 10 Inventory Has Been Liquidated

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff November 7, 2006

A recent survey to gauge the transition from SEER 10 to SEER 13 air-conditioning efficiency indicates that the inventories of SEER 10 units have mostly been used up.

The survey, the fifth installment in a series of SEER 13 market surveys that St. Louis-based Emerson Climate Technologies has conducted in 2005 and 2006, questioned HVAC contractors and distributors across the industry about their awareness, planning, actions and concerns regarding the SEER 13 regulations. The purpose of the surveys is to help provide an accurate picture of the market’s transition, which is paramount to maintaining uninterrupted product delivery and high quality levels.

The most recent survey shows that 77% of SEER 10 inventory has been used up and indicates a prediction that 97% of SEER 10 inventory will be used up by the end of 2006.

“Some contractors communicated through the survey that they had stocked up on 10 SEER inventory in anticipation of the 13 SEER transition,” said Karl Zellmer, vice president of air conditioning sales, Emerson Climate Technologies. “Their primary reasons for holding onto this inventory include staying competitive in case the competition stocks up on 10 SEER inventory, having prior new-construction commitments and having some special needs applications.”

The survey also provides significant insight into the SEER 13 market trends regarding system repair and replacement for end users with less efficient systems. According to this most recent survey, 48% of contractors are repairing systems more than they were in 2005. The primary reason for this increase is that repairs are more cost effective than system replacement. Fifty-seven percent of contractors surveyed said that the driving force for repairs is the lower upfront cost.

The survey also provides information regarding end users’ SEER 13 buying trends, showing that contractors are successfully up-selling to SEER 14+ systems.

“Some industry leaders thought that the high-end market would shrink substantially with the implementation of 13 SEER regulations. However, this survey shows that the demand for 14+ SEER systems is surprisingly high,” Zellmer said. “There is a strong end-user demand for highly featured deluxe products, which 14+ SEER systems are able to provide.”

The reasons for up-selling include:

Better Energy costs25%

Improved Benefits and features22%

Building codes or other regulations4%

According to Zellmer, these results are good news for the industry because they demonstrate the contractor’s adoption of the 13 SEER world and his ability to up-sell in new ways.

For a copy of the Get SEERious educational booklet, go to .