04 Jun 2024

JB Warranties May 2024 Round-Up

HVAC and plumbing May 2024 Round-up

So, are we feeling the heat yet, HVAC and plumbing pros? With record temperatures and wicked weather already blanketing most of the country, we bet that service calls for refrigerant leaks, faulty condensate pumps, and worn belts and fans have skyrocketed as more home and business owners cranked on their air conditioners. But keep cool, you know we’ve still gathered the latest news! 

In our April Round-Up, we covered a variety of industry hot topics including the Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever legally enforceable drinking water standard, the Lowes Foundation’s $1 million grant to SkillsUSA, and the Department of Energy’s new initiative to accelerate heat pump manufacturing. With June (and summer heat) well underway, let’s recap the month of May. 

1. JB Warranties Announces New Integration with ServiceTitan

JB360-ServiceTitan-2-1080x1080This past month, the JB Warranties team announced an exciting new partnership with ServiceTitan, a leading field service management software built for the trades. We’ve crafted a new integration between JB Warranties and the ServiceTitan platform called JB360, which will help HVAC and plumbing professionals streamline and enhance their warranty management and sales efforts.

JB360’s full two-way integration enables service professionals to access and manage their JB plans and claims on-the-go, directly from the ServiceTitan interface. This increased accessibility aims to reduce the administrative burden of warranty management while allowing service professionals to secure more deals, increase renewals, and enhance overall customer satisfaction with less clicks. 

Beta customer Ryan Camp of Harrington Air Conditioning recently explained how, “JB360 integrated solution saves us time and provides us full visibility into warranty plans and claims to run our business efficiently and effectively service our customers.” If you’re interested in learning more about JB360 for ServiceTitan, watch how the platform integration works with this simple overview.

2. Senate Greenlights Bill to Block DOE’s Furnace Energy Efficiency Rule

On May 21, 2024, the U.S. Senate approved a joint resolution (S.J. Res. 58) created to block a Department of Energy (DOE) regulation from enforcing stringent energy efficiency standards on residential gas furnaces. The ruling, which was finalized back in 2023, will require many residential gas furnaces to hold a fuel utilization efficiency of at least 95% beginning in late 2028.

However, recent pushback from government officials and energy companies led to the filing of S.J. Res. 58 on February 1, 2024, by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, which was passed 50-45 this past month. Strong disapproval of the initial DOE ruling stems from the concern that households will face steep and unwanted financial burdens to effectively comply with the upcoming efficiency requirements.

Senator Ted Cruz is now urging the House of Representatives to address the new joint resolution “expeditiously and pass it,” to undo the DOE ruling. However, President Joe Biden continues to urge that his administration’s ruling will save homeowners on utility costs and has threatened to veto the bill if fully passed. We will continue to monitor this resolution as it unfolds. 

3. AAON Begins Distributing R-454B Equipment, Leading the Way with Early Adoption

AAON Inc., a leading provider of energy-efficient, high-performance HVAC systems, announced this month that they have begun shipping equipment with R-454B refrigerant to customers. Reinforcing the company’s leadership in sustainable HVAC solutions, shipments put AAON in front of the upcoming low GWP refrigerant deadlines enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This EPA ruling requires HVAC manufacturers to discontinue HVAC refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) rating of 700 or higher beginning in 2025. The R-454B refrigerant found in recent shipments holds a GWP of 466, which is a 78% decrease from its popular R-410A predecessor. With their latest shipment, early adopter AAON is officially ahead of the game. 

In part of this transition, AAON also announced that they would not be increasing prices on units that use R-454B in an effort to maintain economic accessibility. Beginning June 1, 2024, all AAON units will also be able to be configured with R-454B, further streamlining the transition for customers. 

4. LG Opens HVAC Training Academy in Boston

Steve Scarbrough and Darren Gibula from LG at their newest HVAC Training AcademyLG Air Conditioning Technologies USA announced this month that they have officially opened their new HVAC Training Academy in the Boston area. The new facility was launched in part of LG’s growing commitment to enhance the adoption of sustainable HVAC technology across commercial and residential sectors using the help of industry professionals.

The Boston campus is the latest of five Training Academies across the U.S. and will provide students with various lectures led by LG’s team of elite instructors. Lectures will include lab experiences that offer students hands-on experience installing and servicing LG’s newest innovative solutions, such as their R32 Monobloc Air-to-Water Heat Pump.

In the first year alone, the facility is scheduled to host thousands of training courses focusing on a wide range of topics, from residential installation to software evaluation and even upselling recommendations for customers. New England-area HVAC professionals interested in training at the new facility can sign up online to learn more and register for classes.

5. Daikin Announces Commitments to Accelerate California's Goal of Six Million Heat Pumps

Daikin, a global HVAC manufacturing leader, announced five different commitments aimed at helping California reach its ongoing goal of deploying six million heat pumps by 2030. Back in 2023, ten of the world's largest HVAC distributors and manufacturers, including Daikin, Carrier, and A.O. Smith, signed an agreement to help California achieve this goal using their expertise. 

Now, this month, Daikin became the first participant to announce their planned efforts towards the goal, including:

  • Maximizing local heat pump production capacity
  • Expand its California workforce and partnerships
  • Open a sustainability and innovation center for customers
  • Partner with utility companies to accelerate the transition to inverter-based heat pumps 
  • Continue to aid in the launch of the new California Heat Pump Partnership

California Energy Commission (CEC) Commissioner Andrew McAllister recently stated, “Daikin's tremendous brand awareness and global reach will accelerate market growth for efficient HVAC heat pumps, improve Californians' homes, and expand our clean energy workforce.” Overall, Daikin hopes California’s actions will inspire other states to begin prioritizing energy efficiency and the use of heat pump technology.

Tune In Next Month for JB Warranties June Round-Up

The temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up this month—between ongoing regulation battles for enforcing more stringent energy efficiency standards and new training academies accepting the first round of students, it’s been a month full of hot topics for the trades. Here at JB Warranties, we’ll be watching to ensure you don’t miss a moment of what happens across HVAC and plumbing.

Looking for other ways that JB Warranties aids our friends in the trades? Check out the JB Dealer Services Marketplace, where we’ve gathered the latest tools that help contractors thrive, or explore the benefits of our extended warranty agreements, designed for HVAC and plumbing pros.