Changing HVAC Regulations – Chris Forth W/ Johnson Controls LIVE
Subscribe to our Youtube channel
Every 6 years, the US Department of Energy reevaluates its efficiency standards and has decided to upgrade its standards. (For example, the DOE decided that the North, Southeast, and Southwest needed different efficiency standards.) So, as these standards change, contractors need to pay close attention to changing efficiency standards as they stock equipment.
Almost all OEMs are currently experiencing supply chain slowdowns, so contractors need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to ordering products on time to meet standards; some contractors may consider ordering 15-SEER units so that they can buy and install those units legally regardless of the installation date. Contractors would be taking a gamble by ordering a 14-SEER heat pump; it would have to arrive and be installed before the standards change.
However, contractors may be able to sell more complete systems at this rate; they can sell more efficient systems and earn more on those installation jobs.
The A2L phasedown requires us to phase down the production of high-GWP refrigerants, including R-410A. Most of the low-GWP R-410A replacements are A2L refrigerants, which are mildly flammable (nowhere near the same level as R-290 or hydrocarbons). We can expect new training related to A2L refrigerants and the rise of specialty tools, including A2L-compatible vacuum pumps.
The A2L label means that a very small level of flame was propagated in testing; static sparks and indirect heat typically WON’T be a cause for concern. However, A2L equipment may come with sensors to deal with possible fire risks before flame propagation occurs. These refrigerants also tend to be very efficient, and the transition away from high-GWP A1 refrigerants like R-410A could be one that we can look forward to.