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Recently, the Treasury Department released initial guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act's labor requirements concerning Section 179D and several other energy tax incentives. We have broken it down into some easy-to-understand points and links to lead you to more information about each topic. Prevailing wage Requirements will go into effect 60 days after the law is put in place and will apply to any jobs performed after Jan 29, 2023. How do I determine the prevailing wage? Prevailing wage on a project means the business will pay minimum wage and fringe benefits based on the classification provided by the Department of Labor for the job performed. You ...
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Stay Frosty

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Bottom Line: Parts of the country will have it rough, others… not so much. Everyone needs to be safe. Depending on the part of the country you're in, you may be pelted with stories about the severe winter ahead. Whether you're in the "danger zone" or your region does not expect anything too bad… it's still winter. Everyone needs to take precautions: Plan a little extra time driving to the next call, Store a blanket, a bottle of water, and a can of soup within reach, Keep the jumper cables accessible (to assist others, we know you'll be fine), Dress warmly and cover exposed skin, Keep warm liquids available (hydration and to warm the soul), and ...
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Bottom Line: A tremendous effort is underway to promote heat pumps, so much so that I can foresee a time when air conditioners become “extinct”. We’ll look at some facts and issues that need to be considered. Introduction Due to the strong push for renewable energy and the “free” electricity it provides, there is a correspondingly aggressive drive to use more electric appliances. Since the heating and cooling system is the largest energy consuming appliance in a home, it makes sense want to “electrify” these. That means a transition from air conditioners (cooling-only) to heat pumps (heating and cooling). Electrification: Renewable energy production ...
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Shown below are some highlights from ACCA’s recent Codes & Coffee webinar which took place on October 19. Our guest speaker was Mr. Alex Ayers, Director of Government Affairs, Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). Click here to view the entire recording. If you didn’t attend (or even if you did) here’s what we covered. Installers down South pay close attention now, ya hear? New DOE Regional Efficiencies in Effect January 1, 2023 As many of you probably know, new DOE regional efficiency standards will go into effect for Split AC, Split Heat Pumps, and Packaged Units. Shown below is the now infamous ...
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Today ACCA sent our strong opposition to Congress regarding the ENABLERS Act legislation that would affect your business as well your employees and investors. The ENABLERS Act seeks to dramatically expand the reporting requirements put in place by the Corporate Transparency Act, despite the fact that final regulations under the CTA were just released today. The ENABLERS Act was snuck onto the National Defense Authorization Act in the House. If that process sounds sneaky you are right but sadly familiar, it’s how the initial Corporate Transparency Act was adopted two years ago. They hid it on the NDAA and the business community was unable get the security-minded ...
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Bottom Line: 1) Follow the federal rules (manage your equipment inventory), 2) You can still install SEER rated equipment, and 3) I missed a “SEER2 change”, but continue to use Manual S (equipment selection). Background Regional efficiency standards go into effect on 1 January 2023 … in about 4 months. Joanna Turpin did a great job explaining the requirements in her article https://www.achrnews.com/articles/146585-prepare-now-for-2023-energy-efficiency-standards . Oh, and I wrote one last year too, https://www.acca.org/blogs/wes-davis/2021/09/21/back-to-the-future . As promised, here’s the reminder. The biggest change is the ENFORCEMENT DATE not ...
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Last week we had a great post on ACCA’s Contractor Forum about “Electric Vans.” A contractor was about to purchase a Ford E-Transit 350 fully electric and wanted to get people's experience or impressions about them. This created a lot of interest and discussion among many of our members. In response, ACCA staff did some research and found some information that may be of interest. Fasten your seatbelts! What About Those Batteries? Electric cars are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, similar to those used in cell phones and laptop computers—but much larger. EV battery packs are also more energy dense than the lead-acid and rechargeable ...
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When: Wednesday, September 21 @ Noon EDT. Last May ACCA members benefited from a Codes & Coffee which featured prominent OEMs who covered the codes & standards for installing residential HVAC equipment using A2L refrigerants. The webinar was so well received we decided to bring back one of those OEMs to cover what contractors will need to measure and determine to ensure a safe installation in a home. The information will be based on the newly published ASHRAE Standard 15.2. Join ACCA’s Manager of Codes & Standards David Bixby, and special guest Jim VerShaw, Trane Technologies, and Chair of the ASHRAE 15.2 Committee , for this primer on preparing ...
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WE WIN!!

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Bottom Line: NFPA exempts ALL outdoor HVAC from NEC GFCI protection until Sept 2026. The Details: An August 26, 2022, NFPA letter has been issued that renders the NFPA Standards Council’s final decision in the matter of appeals submitted on the National Electrical Code (NEC) requirement of GFCI protection for outdoor HVAC equipment - 210.8(F). The appeals were filed by ACCA, Leading Builders of America (LBA) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Click HERE for a full copy of the Standards Council’s decision. The Background It has been a long road to success. It started with ACCA’s August 2020 blog ( Code ...
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Bottom Line: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has new efficiency standards (SEER2, EER2, HSPF2), effective January 1, 2023. Unfortunately, these new standards mislead the public because they undervalue how critical you are as the HVAC professional, and why quality installation matters, as always. Background: Basically, DOE decided to change the test procedures to more accurately reflect how equipment is installed. This is boring, feel free to skip ahead to “What Changed.” The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA” or “the Act”), sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency and established the Energy Conservation ...
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On August 10, 2022, the NFPA Standards Council held a hearing related to appeals submitted by ACCA and other organizations regarding the National Electrical Code (NEC). The appeals were to urge the Council to fix a bad code by expanding the current exemption to cover all outdoor HVAC equipment from the NEC requirement to have GFCI protection. Joint Effort Mr. Ed Lehr represented ACCA at the hearing. Lehr is president of Jack Lehr Heating, Cooling & Electric , Allentown, PA. He is also vice-chair of ACCA's Codes Subcommittee. He testified along with representatives from Leading Builders of America (LBA) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration ...
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As you are well aware the HVACR industry has a considerable shortage of skilled workers, and the problem is accelerating due to constraints within the training pipeline and record-low unemployment rates. Skilled labor is vital to promulgate proper installation and maintenance of cutting-edge, energy-efficient equipment and to allow businesses to expand their operations/offerings. In 2018, President Trump signed the Perkins Reauthorization, an ACCA priority, which provided nearly $2,000,000,000 for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Funding and created more state and local control over CTE programs. Federal funding for CTE through Perkins helps to build the ...
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Ready to Prove It?

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Bottom Line: Professionals who check their work have a new tool to prove their value to their customers. What is Good? Do you commission your work? By commissioning, I mean, in the simplest terms, do you check your work after it’s done? Specifically, equipment installations (replacements), do you measure and record: airflow, component pressure drops, refrigerant charge (temperature & pressures), electrical information, combustion efficiency, and thermostat’s sequence of operation? (Or do you measure a subset of these elements?) Commissioning (I’ll use that term to describe measuring and recording the elements above) is the mark of an excellent HVAC ...
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Last Time Following up on the topic from last month (filters), let’s talk about another often-overlooked pressure drop, the indoor coil. I know some of you are saying WTH? The indoor coil? Yes, WTH (Where’s The Heat), and I call it an indoor coil because in the winter, a heat pump could be condensing the refrigerant in the heating mode. Calling it an indoor coil instead of an evaporator coil removes that confusion. Look Out!! This topic gets a little tricky as people who live in “furnace/coil land” should be more aware of the specific pressure drop of the coil they are selecting. On an air handler, it’s different, as the manufacturer sort of hides the ...
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After several years of development, a new safety standard has been published for installation of residential A2L refrigeration systems. The American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) has announced the publication of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15.2-2022, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems in Residential Applications . The newly published and ANSI-approved safety standard covers the use of A2L-classified refrigerants in low-rise residential applications, and is intended for use by manufacturers, installers, contractors, service technicians, building code officials, and others. In the past, codes and standards ...
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Last time In my last article, someone commented on static tip placement about filter location. I sincerely appreciated this observation, as sometimes I struggle to come up with a topic, and this was the inspiration for what I’m about to share right now. Less than ideal First off, we as an industry do a terrible job when it comes to selecting filters. You might not fall into that category, but I believe that is a true statement for many contractors in business. In Manual D®, the duct design process has us filling out a friction rate worksheet. In step two, we are required to record our component losses. The filter(s) is one of these losses (pressure drops). ...
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Summer is in full force! HVAC field staff are working hard to keep their clients cool this summer. However, keeping yourself cool while working on equipment this summer is equally essential. The combination of high temperatures, high humidity, and physical work can lead to work-related heat illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In addition, hot weather slows down the body's ability to perform, and you need to know your body's ability to work in the heat. When I was in the field, we tried to get our attic installations completed early in the morning. Our goal was to have these types of installations completed by noon. We encouraged technicians and ...
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Bottom Line: The ACCA Duct Slide Rule® is a great tool to find opportunities, but more work is necessary to fix a hot/cold room. Background: A great question to ask new customers is, "do you have any hot/cold rooms?" When you offer to resolve their problems it can make you an instant hero. Rooms that are used often and are uncomfortable can make the whole house difficult to live in. Customers hate to constantly adjust the thermostat to get comfortable. And it is surprising how sensitive we are to temperature differences. Most people can sense a temperature difference of less than 1˚F. So, when you solve this problem it’s a great way to demonstrate ...
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Step 1a: Measure airflow to the room. F Vane anemometers are an inexpensive tool and a good way to estimate airflow. They range from $100 - $200, but you can spend as much as $1,000. NOTE: I recommend one that comes with an extension or “pole” and connects to an app on your phone. Flowhoods ® are more expensive ($1,500 - $3,000), and a bit more cumbersome, but they are another great way to estimate airflow. A powered Flowhood is highly recommended for its accuracy, but that’s another blog. NOTE: Ensure the tech knows how to use the tool. If you measure the air velocity at the register with an anemometer, then document the register/diffusor ...
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ACCA Members- The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced that it is reviewing regulations addressing the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Independent contractors are not guaranteed the federal minimum wage and overtime pay that covered employees receive under the FLSA. DOL published a final rule on this issue on this issue on January 7, 2021. The rule adopted an economic reality test that considers whether a worker operates their own business or is economically dependent on an employer for work. DOL delayed that rule on March 4, 2021, and then withdrew it on May 6, 2021, but ...
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