As homeowners and businesses fire up furnaces and turn off air conditioners, here are some of the hottest and coolest electronic information sources for HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) and refrigeration maintenance. Even in this highly-specialized area, there's no shortage of sites if you want to find a contractor, or if you need help troubleshooting a system. Market research on the industry is also online, both through the Web and traditional hosts.
Contracting for Comfort
Penton Media, for instance, in conjunction with numerous industry sponsors, has useful sites linked to two of its magazines, Contracting Business and HVAC Engineering. At Contracting Business Interactive (www.contractingbusiness.com), users will find a ton of useful articles for residential and commercial consumers. Check out the advice in Contracting Business' "Homeowner's Guide to Buying a Comfort System," and "Summer Cooling System Tips."
Need information on many of the 900+ Web sites that serve the HVAC and refrigeration industries? At Contracting Business Interactive, you'll find a handy Web directory of, and with active links to, industry associations, manufacturers, and government-information sources. This site also offers industry news updates each day from dozens of news sources, plus information for professional contractors.
"Sometime this year," says Mike Weil, senior editor and Webmaster for Contracting Business Interactive, "we'll introduce an adjunct Web site with a virtual trade show, covering our HVAC Comfortech conference plus other major industry shows. The site will be completely interactive and ecommerce-based."
Warming up to Information
At the HPAC Engineering home page (www.hpac.com), there's a free archive of HPAC Engineering articles from 1992 to the present. "Our articles are known for detail, practicality, and usefulness for all non-residential buildings, and we cover cross-cutting topics such as indoor air quality and energy efficiency," reports HPAC Engineering editor Mike Ivanovich. (HPAC stands for heating, piping, and air conditioning.)
Ivanovich adds, "If anyone needs to contact a manufacturer of equipment, we have an online directory of more than 1,200 manufacturer listings in our Web site's ‘On-Line Directories' area. Our directory of associations is also available through our Web site."
HPAC Engineering's Webmasters know the importance of a dynamic Web presence. According to the latest Penton Research reader profile survey, almost 90% of HPAC Engineering's readers report that they or others in their firm use the Internet for business purposes. (EContent readers can get a summary of the HPAC Engineering reader profile survey from the author.)