05 Feb 2024

JB Warranties January 2024 Round-Up

JBW HVAC and Plumbing Industry Round Up

Happy New Year, HVAC and plumbing professionals, and welcome to the 2024 JB Warranties Round-Up Series! With the first month of operations quickly coming to an end, we imagine many of our readers were too busy brainstorming New Year’s business goals and implementing new service offerings to have caught up on the latest current events and rising trends over the past few weeks.

So, we’re here to fill you in on what happened across the trades throughout January! In our last JB Warranties Round-Up of 2023, we talked about the EPA’s sell-through period extension for high-GWP HVAC equipment, Daikin’s HVAC donation to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and CEO Warrior’s partnership with Ferguson. Now, for a look into January 2024, keep reading below. 

1. Interplay Learning Launches Interplay Academy for Workforce Development Organizations

Interplay Learning, a leader in online virtual reality (VR) training solutions for the skilled trades, announced the launch of their Interplay Academy this past month. The Interplay Academy was designed to equip education and workforce development organizations with the tools they need to help learners quickly become job-ready through advanced trade technology programs.

Amid an ongoing labor shortage across the trades, Interplay Academy’s Job-Ready Certificate programs will work to develop a stronger pipeline of prospective talent by directly connecting students with job-readiness programs. Interplay Academy currently offers accelerated Job-Ready Programs that will include HVAC, plumbing, electrical, construction, and building maintenance focuses that enable students to earn industry-recognized NATE, OSHA, and EPA certifications.

2. Montana Technologies Partners with Carrier Global to Supply Carbon-Reducing Technology

Montana Technologies, a developer of climate-solution technology, announced a partnership with Carrier Global this past month to help develop and commercialize innovative carbon-reducing cooling equipment. As a leader in climate and energy solutions, Carrier was granted exclusive rights by Montana Technologies to integrate their AirJoule technology into HVAC equipment over the next three years. 

AirJoule is a type of state-of-the-art dehumidification technology that works to significantly improve overall air conditioning efficiency. AirJoule systems incorporate the use of a self-regenerating pressure swing adsorption method to pull water and thermal energy from the surrounding air. This method of harvesting water helps reduce overall energy consumption in AC units, which aids in a reduction in carbon emissions as well as the use of refrigerants. 

3. 2024 Segment of the EPA HFC Phasedown Begins

As part of the recent passing of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act in 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun to enforce updated hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) phasedown percentages at the start of 2024. This ongoing plan will work to reduce the production and consumption of high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs by 85% by 2036. 

HFCs are types of harmful greenhouse gas commonly found in a variety of common HVAC applications, including R410A and R134 refrigerants. This ongoing phasedown brought on by the EPA will continue to affect HVAC companies that manufacture, export, reclaim, or recycle these various types of HFC, making compliance and operational changes a big 2024 concern for many. 

From 2022 to 2023, the EPA established a consumption and production allowance cap of 90%, which helped reduce HFC use by 10% just in the program’s first year. With 2024 now underway, the EPA will begin to enforce even stronger consumption and production allowance caps, including:

  • 2024–2028 - 60%
  • 2029–2033 - 30%
  • 2034–2035 - 20%
  • 2036 & after - 15%

4. Daikin Comfort and XOi Partner to Launch New AI-Driven Solution

Daikin Industries, the largest HVAC product manufacturer in the world, announced this month that its North American branch, Daikin Comfort Technologies, is partnering with XOi Technologies to provide contractors with a new mobile solution. XOi software will now be used to automate and boost the quality of Daikin brand repair and replacements with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and expansive access to product education resources through a cloud-based application. 

Using real-time remote video support, technicians can collaborate and access over 120,000 pieces of Daiken content to help navigate repair challenges via the XOi app. AI capabilities also help collect, analyze, and apply important job data to each work order for higher efficiency and accuracy among technicians. Current users of the XOi solution are reporting revenue growth of up to 18% with a reduction in re-servicing by up to 80%.

5. LG Unveils New Cutting-Edge Solutions at AHR Expo 2024

From January 22 to 24, the annual AHR Expo was held in Chicago, where thousands of HVAC professionals, manufacturers, and distributors joined together to discuss and showcase recent industry innovations. During the two-day AHR Expo event, LG introduced its latest addition to its line of innovative water-heating products, the LG R32 Air-to-Water Heat Pump Monobloc system.

The LG R32 is a powerful, all-in-one unit that incorporates the use of a property’s watering piping to eliminate the need for refrigerant piping. With the help of LG’s heat pump technology, the LG R32 unit supplies hot water to a variety of home heating applications, including radiant floor heating and radiator heating. The LG R32 unit also maintains a 100% heating capacity, reduced defrost cycles, and extended operational intervals to provide optimal performance, even in extreme cold.

Circle Back in February for the Next JB Warranties Round-Up

With 2024 well underway, you can see that the HVAC and plumbing industry is off to a pretty busy start. From emerging product innovations to significant changes to industry rules and regulations, HVAC professionals need to stay on top of current events in the trades. So, we'll be back shortly with our February Round-Up to touch on the latest hot topics that occur over the coming weeks.

As you continue to map out your operational goals in accordance with industry trends for the coming year, don’t forget to also check out the JB Dealer Services Marketplace, where you can learn and connect with a selection of business management solutions. There, you’ll find a variety of marketing, financing, and field service management tools fit to help hit your goals all 2024!