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November 2023

2J Supply Newsletter

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

Welcome to the November 2023 edition of the 2J Supply HVAC Newsletter! In this issue, we unpack pivotal industry changes, explore winter forecast insights, and share valuable HVAC tips. Stay informed to stay ahead!


Navigating 2023 HVAC Regulation Changes: A Contractor's Guide to Explaining Upcoming Shifts to Homeowners

During 2023, the HVAC industry is going through significant regulatory changes that will impact energy efficiency standards for HVAC systems. According to a recent report on AC-Heating Connect, these changes will specifically affect central air conditioners and heat pumps.

New Efficiency Regulations

Prepare for an increase in the minimum efficiencies for central air conditioners and heat pumps across all regions. In the North, South, and Southwest, expect a one-SEER increase, translating to reduced electricity consumption while maintaining optimal cooling levels. Specifically, the North will transition from 13 to 14 SEER, while the South and Southwest will rise from 14 to 15 SEER. Additionally, heat pumps will see a national increase from 14 to 15 SEER, representing a substantial 7-8% efficiency boost overall.

Considering these changes, the industry will adopt a new label standard, specifying the seasonal efficiency as SEER2. This shift is a result of revised HVAC testing procedures that now consider higher default external static pressure, providing a more accurate reflection of real-world field conditions. Consequently, these adjustments will lead to the introduction of new metrics labeled as SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2, starting in 2023.

Understanding the Why Behind the Changes

The Department of Energy (DOE) periodically evaluates current technology, balancing efficiency, cost, and environmental concerns. While highly efficient systems reduce energy consumption, they may come with a higher initial cost. These adjustments aim to strike a balance between operational efficiency and affordability.

Implications for Contractors

To facilitate a seamless transition, manufacturers will introduce redesigned equipment before 2023. Notably, existing systems will not require replacement unless they are non-operational. However, it is imperative to comply with the regional regulations when installing new systems after January 1, 2023, particularly in the South and Southwest, where adherence to the 2023 federal minimums is mandatory.

Contractors should equip themselves with comprehensive knowledge of the regional efficiency requirements and familiarize themselves with the new standards and metrics, namely SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2. Accessing resources from the DOE website and undergoing relevant training provided by companies and manufacturers can aid in a smooth transition to the updated standards.

Non-compliance with the 2023 efficiency standards may lead to penalties imposed by the DOE, including equipment replacement costs and fines for selling or installing non-compliant units. Thus, meticulous record-keeping of relevant information pertaining to sales and equipment models is crucial for contractors to safeguard their businesses.

Addressing Homeowners' Questions

In discussions with homeowners, anticipate questions concerning the nature of the 2023 HVAC regulations, the regulatory bodies responsible for setting these standards, the significance of SEER in HVAC systems, and the recommended efficiency levels based on regional variations. Assure them that staying informed and updated about industry changes is pivotal for the smooth functioning of their HVAC systems.

Insights into the 2023-2024 Winter Weather Forecast: Impact of El Nino on HVAC Operations

The upcoming 2023-2024 winter season is poised to be influenced significantly by the El Nino weather phenomenon, potentially posing both benefits and challenges for HVAC contractors across the United States. El Nino, characterized by weakened surface winds in the tropical Pacific and above-average ocean temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, is expected to have a notable impact on the global atmospheric conditions and subsequently alter weather patterns in the U.S., as indicated by various forecasts.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the implications of El Nino typically manifest as above-normal temperatures in the Northern U.S., while regions spanning from New Mexico and Texas to the Carolinas in the Southwest and South experience cooler-than-normal conditions. Furthermore, NOAA forecasts an increase in precipitation across a broad stretch of the southern U.S., extending from Central and Southern California to Virginia.

The detection of El Nino conditions in June, following a sequence of three consecutive La Nina years, implies a significant shift in surface winds and temperatures across the tropical Pacific. La Nina, the contrasting weather pattern characterized by intensified surface winds and cooler temperatures, typically results in colder and wetter weather in the Northern U.S. and drier, warmer conditions in the South, according to NOAA.

While the anticipation of above-normal temperatures in certain regions might lead to reduced demand for HVAC services, experts also predict a heightened requirement for heating systems in areas such as northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Colorado. Moreover, the persistent drought conditions prevalent in the South Central and Southwestern U.S. could potentially be alleviated by the expected precipitation brought about by the El Nino weather pattern.

However, this winter season presents a contrasting perspective, forecasting below-normal temperatures in both the Upper and Lower Midwest regions. The coldest periods are projected to occur in late November, throughout December, and in early and late January in the Upper Midwest, and in early and late December, early and late January, and early February in the Lower Midwest.

As the HVAC industry prepares for the upcoming winter season, it is imperative for contractors to stay informed about the evolving weather patterns and to be equipped to address the potential impacts of El Nino on their operations. Understanding the specific regional implications and being prepared to adapt to varying customer needs will be crucial for navigating the challenges and leveraging the opportunities presented by the anticipated weather conditions.

HVAC Training and Education

Seasonal Maintenance: Essential HVAC Upgrades for Fall Preparations

As fall sets in across various regions, it's crucial to recognize the significance of this season for conducting essential maintenance tasks, ensuring optimal functioning of HVAC systems in the impending winter months. According to a recent post on the HVAC Blog by ACCA, there are various key improvements to prioritize during this time:

Enhancing Comfort:

  • Conducting air balancing to rectify temperature discrepancies in different rooms
  • Upgrading to high-performance registers to replace outdated, drafty models
  • Incorporating dehumidification equipment for improved air quality
  • Implementing a zoning system for enhanced temperature control
  • Prioritizing duct sealing and necessary modifications to improve overall system efficiency

Prioritizing Health and Safety:

  • Installing advanced air filtration/purification systems to promote healthier indoor air quality
  • Integrating efficient dehumidification solutions for optimal humidity control
  • Ensuring thorough duct sealing to prevent air leaks and potential contaminants

Boosting Energy Efficiency:

  • Regularly cleaning critical components, including evaporator coils and indoor blower assemblies, to maintain peak performance
  • Undertaking duct sealing and renovations to minimize energy losses and improve overall system efficiency
  • Prioritizing air balancing to ensure optimal airflow distribution and enhanced energy conservation

It's imperative for technicians to meticulously inspect any previously installed components, such as high-efficiency air filters that might impede airflow and improperly installed UV lights that could potentially damage internal wiring components susceptible to UV rays.


Navigating HVAC Lead Times: Aligning Customer Expectations with Realities

Forecasting lead times in the HVAC industry is a complex undertaking, subject to fluctuations influenced by economic conditions, regulatory changes, disruptions in the supply chain, and variations in equipment types. The dynamic nature of lead times underscores the significance of effectively managing customer expectations, considering the potential for unexpected shifts in projected timelines. What was once an anticipated lead time may swiftly transform, necessitating a concerted effort by contractors to align customer expectations with feasible delivery timelines.

Building Trustworthy Relationships According to Goldenstein, fostering and maintaining reliable relationships with vendors is vital for contractors. Establishing a foundation of trust with vendors is essential, as it reflects the contractor's reliability and subsequently enhances customer confidence in the service provider's ability to deliver as promised.

Ensuring Timely Delivery Beyond managing customer expectations, the subsequent crucial step for contractors is to ensure the timely delivery of products and services in line with customer expectations. Implementing effective inventory management practices emerges as a pivotal strategy for achieving this objective, enabling contractors to streamline operations and meet customer demands promptly.

Preparing for Future Challenges Given the current volatile landscape, accurately predicting future lead times within the HVAC industry poses considerable challenges. However, by analyzing historical and present lead time data in conjunction with external influencing factors, the industry can proactively strategize and prepare for the uncertainties posed by the ever-changing dynamics of lead times.

As the HVAC sector continues to navigate the intricacies of lead time management, prioritizing transparent communication, fostering strong vendor relationships, and implementing robust inventory management practices will serve as crucial pillars for meeting customer expectations and ensuring the timely delivery of products and services.