A number of professional organizations have been established for those who work in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning industries or who handle their products. These organizations (frequently referred to as associations, societies, or institutes) provide a number of different services to members and nonmembers.
Some professional and trade organizations have established permanent libraries as resource centers for those seeking to improve their skills or wishing to keep abreast of current developments in their fields. In many instances, research programs are conducted in cooperation with laboratories, colleges, and universities.
Many of these organizations address themselves to the problems and interests of specific groups. For example, there are professional organizations for manufacturers, wholesalers, jobbers, distributors, and journeymen. Some organizations represent an entire industry, while others restrict their scope to only a segment of it. Every aspect of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning is covered by one or more of these professional organizations.
Anyone, member or not, can write to these professional organizations for information or assistance. Most seem very willing to comply with any reasonable request. The only difficulty that may be encountered is determining the current name of the particular organization and obtaining its address. Unfortunately, these professional organizations have shown a strong proclivity toward mergers over the years, with resulting changes of names and addresses.
The best and most current guide to the names and addresses of professional organizations is The Encyclopedia of Associations, which can be found in the reference departments of most public libraries. It is published in three volumes, but everything you will need can be found in the first one. At the back of this volume is a section called the “Alphabetical & Key Word Index.” By looking up the key word (e. g., heating or ventilating) of the subject that interests you, you can find the page number and full name of the professional organization (or organizations) concerned with the particular area. See Appendix A in this volume for a partial listing of these professional and trade associations.
Some professional organizations of long standing have been merged with others or have been disbanded. For example, the Steel Boiler Institute (formerly the Steel Heating Boiler Institute), which maintained standards in the heating industry with its SBI Rating Code, is now defunct. The Institute of Boiler and Radiator Manufacturers (source of the old IBR Code) merged with the Better Heating-Cooling Council to form the Hydronics Institute. A recent attempt to contact the Steam Heating Equipment Manufacturers Association has resulted in the return of a letter marked “no forwarding address.” It seems very likely that it, too, has joined the list of defunct professional organizations.
Appendix A (Professional and Trade Associations) at the end of this book gives a listing of professional organizations. It also contains their present addresses, the names of some of their publications, and a brief synopsis of their backgrounds and whom they represent.