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December 2023

2J Supply Newsletter

Welcome to the 2J Supply HVAC Newsletter - December 2023 Edition!

Explore the latest HVAC trends, debunk common heat pump myths, and safeguard your investments with our December newsletter! Plus, discover 2J's groundbreaking achievements, continuous learning programs, and exclusive winter promotions. Stay informed, stay ahead with 2J Supply!


Embracing the Future: HVAC Technology Trends for 2024

The HVAC landscape is evolving, and technology is at the forefront of these changes. Here's a glimpse into the HVAC technology trends that HVAC contractors should watch out for in 2024. 

Improved Connectivity and Predictive Maintenance 

The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and smart devices is revolutionizing HVAC systems. Smart thermostats, meters, and sensors are becoming integral components of new constructions, offering seamless connectivity. These devices empower HVAC systems to be controlled and monitored remotely, allowing for adjustments based on changing external conditions. Through interconnected sensors, data analytics, and machine learning algorithms, HVAC technicians can proactively identify and address issues, minimizing downtime and optimizing system performance. This predictive maintenance approach is proving to be a game-changer. 

Green Systems for Sustainability 

Eco-friendly and energy-efficient solutions are experiencing a surge in demand. With consumers seeking ways to save on energy costs, the popularity of high-efficiency HVAC systems is on the rise. Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, geothermal heat pumps, and dual-source heat pumps are gaining traction, partly due to the renewal of HVAC technology tax credits. These systems not only harness renewable energy sources but also contribute to sustainability efforts. 

Green cooling techniques are also gaining prominence, using natural refrigerants with zero depletion potential. This shift towards environmentally friendly HVAC solutions aligns with both consumer preferences and global sustainability goals. 

Ductless Solutions for Flexibility 

Updating older buildings with air conditioning can be challenging and expensive, especially without existing ductwork. HVAC technicians are increasingly turning to ductless technology as a cost-effective solution. Ductless mini-split heat pumps provide flexibility for heating and cooling individual areas, making them suitable for retrofitting non-ducted heating systems. These systems are easier to install and experience fewer energy losses compared to standard ductwork, making them an attractive option for efficient space conditioning. 

Elevated Customer Experience 

In the evolving HVAC landscape, providing an exceptional customer experience is paramount. Beyond delivering quality work at competitive prices, HVAC companies must now focus on seamless customer service. This includes immediate service, ongoing attention to HVAC needs, and the integration of innovative and sustainable technology to address issues promptly. 

To meet customer expectations, HVAC contractors are investing in technician training to stay abreast of technological advances. Utilizing technology tools for marketing, such as online testimonials, informative websites, and social media, is becoming essential. Online appointment scheduling, electronic communications, and field service management software are streamlining operations, enhancing customer interactions, and ensuring the efficiency of HVAC services. 

As we move into 2024, the HVAC profession is undergoing rapid transformation, driven by technological innovations. HVAC contractors who embrace these advances will find new opportunities to meet customer needs and achieve success in an increasingly competitive field. 

Demystifying Heat Pumps: Overcoming Contractor Concerns

The heating and cooling landscape is experiencing a transformative era, with advanced technologies offering unprecedented efficiency, sustainability, and personalized comfort. Heat pumps, in particular, are gaining prominence, but some contractors harbor hesitations due to prevalent myths. To empower contractors to provide accurate advice to their customers and dispel misconceptions, here are five common myths about heat pumps. 

Myth 1: Installing a heat pump in very cold climates doesn't make sense. 

Reality: Heat pumps efficiently work in various climates by absorbing free heat from the outside air and transferring it inside. Recent advancements, such as inverter-driven variable-speed compressors, enable heat pumps to excel even in frigid temperatures. This technology allows heat pumps to provide high-efficiency electric heating, challenging the notion that they are ineffective in cold climates. 

Myth 2: Heat pumps aren't environmentally friendly. 

Reality: Contrary to popular belief, heat pumps contribute to sustainability by producing no harmful emissions and not relying on fossil fuels. They are an environmentally friendly alternative with positive impacts on indoor air quality, as there is no carbon monoxide release. This transition to a heat pump system aligns with efforts to achieve a zero-carbon future. 

Myth 3: Installing an electric heat pump is costly and involves structural changes. 

Reality: While there might be an initial upfront cost, heat pumps offer an efficient all-in-one system for both heating and cooling, potentially saving on future energy bills. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 highlights incentives, including rebates and tax breaks, to offset installation costs. Heat pumps can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution, especially when powered by solar energy. 

Myth 4: Heat pumps require excessive maintenance. 

Reality: Like any high-functioning device, heat pumps require regular maintenance, primarily focusing on filter replacement. Contractors can advise homeowners to ensure the outdoor unit is clean, and the insulation of the house meets standards. Proper maintenance enhances the efficiency and longevity of the heat pump. 

Myth 5: Building electrification is inconvenient, and heat pumps can't sustain the load. 

Reality: Building electrification is a necessary step for a sustainable future, and heat pumps play a crucial role in heating and cooling large commercial properties. They provide energy-efficient solutions by transferring heat rather than generating it through combustion. Heat pumps can deliver up to three times more heat energy than the electricity they consume, offering effective climate control in a single system. 

Energy-Efficient Solutions: 

Heat pumps are gaining prominence as contractors recognize the benefits of suggesting them to clients. Contractors can enhance their reputation, increase demand, save homeowners money, and capitalize on government incentives by incorporating heat pumps into their offerings. Assessing factors such as insulation, size, layout, climate, and client preferences is crucial for recommending the most suitable heat pump type and size. By leveraging these insights, contractors contribute to a more sustainable future while providing energy-efficient solutions for their customers. 

HVAC Training and Education

Safeguarding Your Investment: Strategies to Prevent Refrigerant Leaks

Replenishing refrigerant in equipment has become a costly affair, primarily due to the high expense of refrigerants and the ongoing shift away from high-GWP refrigerants. As technicians navigate the landscape of equipment servicing, it is crucial to proactively identify potential sources of future leaks. By adhering to best service practices, technicians not only prevent immediate leaks but also contribute to long-term environmental sustainability. 

Preventing Future Leaks: A Proactive Approach 

During repair or maintenance inspections, technicians can play a pivotal role in preventing refrigerant leaks by investing a little extra time in system assessments. By making minor adjustments or suggesting additional preventive measures, technicians empower customers to make informed decisions about potential issues. Even if the customer decides against the extra work, they are aware of the potential problem, alleviating blame in case of future leaks. 

Key Areas of Focus: 

  • Pipe Clamps: Check for loose or missing braces on pipe clamps, as these issues can lead to abrasion and refrigerant leaks.
  • Refrigerant Lines: Examine refrigerant lines in direct contact with each other, addressing any potential abrasions that could result in leaks.
  • Capillary Tubes: Inspect capillary tubes used on pressure switches, considering the addition of a silicone bridge to prevent future leaks.
  • Schrader Cores: Verify the integrity of Schrader cores depressed during inspection or repair to ensure proper sealing.
  • Vibration Loops: When replacing piping, maintain or install vibration loops, as their absence can lead to future leaks.
  • Securing Panels: Ensure that screws used to secure panels do not pose a risk of puncturing or rubbing against coils or refrigerant piping.
  • Condensing Unit Handling: Exercise caution when pulling out condensing units, especially on older systems, to avoid damaging tubing that may have hardened over time. 

While preventing refrigerant leaks may demand additional time and effort, it establishes good business practices that benefit both technicians and customers in the long run. By adopting a proactive stance, technicians contribute to the longevity of HVAC systems and environmental conservation. 


Identifying and Addressing Air Filtration Issues: A Comprehensive Guide

Encountering persistently dirty equipment year after year can be a technician's recurring challenge. Despite regular maintenance efforts, if dirt and grime consistently reappear, it raises questions about the root causes. In such cases, where a properly designed and installed system continues to accumulate debris, understanding the signs of air filtration failure becomes crucial.

 The Telltale Signs of Filtration Failure:

  • Dirty Blower Assemblies:
  1. Common Sign: Accumulation of dirt on the blower assembly and secondary heat exchanger.
  2. Impacts: Reduced airflow capacity and compromised heat transfer.
  3. Diagnosis: Visible inspection, reduction in airflow, and excessive flue temperatures on a combustion analyzer.

  • Nasty Indoor Coils:
  1. Common Sign: Unpleasant condition of the indoor coil.
  2. Associated Issue: Plugged drain lines, leading to water damage, compressor failure, and IAQ (indoor air quality) problems.
  3. Effects: Reduced heat transfer ability, floodback, coil freezing, and eventual compressor failure.
  4. Preventive Measure: Timely coil cleaning and addressing filtration failures to prevent long-term issues.

  • Smoking Heat Strips:
  1. Common Sign: Burning odor or smoke alarm activation during the first use of electric heat strips.
  2. Duration: Short-lived but indicative of a significant issue.
  3. Concern: Accumulation of dirt on heat strips, leading to an unexpected reaction during activation.
  4. Resolution: Understanding the underlying cause and implementing preventive measures.

Unraveling the Causes of Filtration Failures: 

Filtration failures primarily occur due to fundamental principles often overlooked or ignored. The rule that "air takes the path of least resistance" is foundational. Air tends to follow the easiest route to the blower inlet, leading to unintentional openings between the air filter and blower. Common sources of these openings include poorly fitting filter racks, unsealed furnace base pans, ill-fitting access panels, and unsealed electrical connections. These openings allow unfiltered air to bypass the filter, reducing its effectiveness. Factors like excessive air speed through the filter and undersized filter openings contribute to the problem.

Identifying the Root Causes:

Visual inspection and thinking like air are key to identifying the source of filtration failures. Clues often lie in everyday visual observations, but deeper issues may require equipment information and airside measurements. Monitoring air speed, measured in feet per minute (fpm), is crucial. Excessive velocity can pull particulate through the filter, diminishing its effectiveness. Undertaking a pressure drop measurement across the air filter offers valuable insights into potential filtration failures.

Towards a Comprehensive Solution:

While there's no singular solution to filtration failures, addressing the issue involves a holistic approach. Proper design, filter selection, and installation form the foundation. Key considerations include:

  • Lowering filter face velocity for better performance.
  • Ensuring full use of filter surface area and eliminating leaks between the filter and blower inlet.
  • Strategically placing filters for optimal efficiency.
  • Choosing the right filter media to enhance performance.

One noteworthy air filtration product in this context is the Dust Free Sixteen Air Cleaner, designed to complement a well-designed and installed system. It is essential to explore and adopt filtration solutions that align with promises and contribute to a more efficient HVAC system.

As HVAC professionals strive to solve filtration challenges, a combination of proactive design, regular maintenance, and effective solutions ensures longevity and optimal performance.