This classification covers establishments primarily engaged in servicing and repairing household and commercial electrical refrigerators and air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Establishments primarily engaged in servicing and repairing gas refrigeration equipment are classified in SIC 7699: Repair Shops and Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified; and those repairing automotive air-conditioning equipment are classified in SIC 7539: Automotive Repair Shops, Not Elsewhere Classified.
Household Appliance Stores
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance
Appliance Repair and Maintenance
Over past 50 years, refrigeration and air-conditioning products have evolved from luxury items primarily offering comfort and convenience to vital components of many industries. Today, virtually every scientific and technological industry relies on cooling systems and equipment that control the temperature, humidity, air movement, and air quality of enclosed environments. Commercial, residential, and other buildings also rely on climate control systems.
Refrigeration and air-conditioning service and repair shops employ the mechanics and service technicians who keep self-contained and split-system air-conditioner units, electric refrigeration equipment, and electric refrigerators in good repair. In the mid 1990s, there were an estimated 3,658 establishments in this category. Typically these firms were small, employing an average of 6 employees and generating a total of $3 billion.
In 2005 the total number of refrigeration and air-conditioning service and repair shops climbed to 8,204 establishments, with a workforce of 38,447 employees. Combined, shops posted revenues of some $2.58 billion. The majority of repair shops were located in Texas, Florida, and California, with an estimated 35 percent of market share.
The three main employers of refrigeration and air-conditioning service and repair technicians are manufacturers of environmental control equipment; distributors or dealers who sell and service equipment; and firms involved in air-conditioning, heating, and refrigeration, among other fields. Some technicians also establish themselves as entrepreneurs, opening up their own repair businesses.
The majority of establishments operating in the refrigeration and air-conditioning service industry—some 67 percent—are corporate entities. Of the remaining establishments, 31 percent are sole proprietorships and 2 percent are partnerships. Industry establishments are located throughout the United States.
Small appliance products serviced by industry technicians include home refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, packaged terminal heat pumps, dehumidifiers, under-the-counter ice makers, vending machines, and drinking water coolers. Industry service technicians also work on complex customized appliances used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and manufacturing industries, as well as in industrial ice machines and ice rinks.
The earliest climate control systems—piped steam installed to heat factories, churches, assembly halls, and other large buildings—eventually led to ventilation systems that combined heating with circulation of fresh air. About the same time heating...