J&W Heating and Air is here to discuss some of the top HVAC trends you can expect to see in 2024! Since we serve Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas, you know that at least some of these trends will impact us directly. Please note that a few of these trends technically started in 2023, but they’ll have much more widespread usage in 2024.

1. Increase in Heat Pump Usage

Heat pumps are well-known throughout the Jacksonville area but are about to become even more popular. Their eco-friendliness and energy efficiency are becoming a must-have in any area that remains warm enough to get by with a heat pump. Speaking of which, most people seem to think of using a heat pump on a cold night in Florida or California, but did you know they have a range from -22 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 115 degrees? In other words, they’ll work almost anywhere!

As the HVAC world continues to place an emphasis on reducing carbon emissions and increasing the usage of renewables, heat pumps have become much more attractive. It’s expected that they’ll be the next big HVAC hit!

2. Revisions to Heating Efficiency Standards

This recent trend started in 2023 and definitely has a major effect on our business. After all, heat pumps are quite common in Jacksonville, and they’re exactly what these revisions address. From now on, every heat pump must meet the following requirements:

  • 8.8 HSPF (or 7.5 HSPF2)
  • 15 SEER

If you have a preexisting heat pump in your home, then you don’t need to worry about the revisions until it needs to be replaced. However, if you decide to purchase a new one, it must meet the new minimum requirements. These changes do make heat pumps more expensive, but it’s expected that homeowners will more than recoup the difference in their energy bills.

For those of you who are wondering how this will reduce your energy bills, let’s take a look at what the acronyms mean:

  • HSPF and HSPF2 – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor
  • SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

The higher the number, the more efficient the unit will be. Because of this, the Department of Energy (DOE) increased the minimum HSPF/HSPF2 and SEER that an HVAC unit can have. Although it was only a small increase, it’s expected to have a big impact. It will take a while, though, as it’s currently estimated that up to 70% of heat pumps and HVAC units don’t meet the new requirement.

3. New Residential System Efficiency Standards

In addition to the existing HSPF/HSPF2 and SEER ratings, there’s also the recent introduction of SEER2 ratings. These will now be required on all new air conditioning systems, residential heat pumps, and ductless mini-split systems.

What’s the difference between SEER and SEER2, you ask? An estimated 8 to 10% increase in the required level of energy efficiency. Again, this means that replacing your heat pump will initially be more expensive, but you’ll save money over time. On the negative side, this means it may also be difficult to find parts at first for SEER2-rated units. On the positive side, you’ll experience lower energy bills. Plus, it’s not necessary to use a SEER2 heat pump until your existing heat pump needs to be replaced.

It’s estimated that there are even fewer SEER2 HVAC units currently installed than there are units that match up to the new HSPF rating. In other words, don’t let these new requirements scare you. Yes, you’ll have to get a new unit at some point. But if you don’t need one right now, it’s not an issue for you to wait.

4. New Refrigerant Guidelines for Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

The refrigerant that’s used inside air conditioners and heat pumps has followed quite a path to its updated guidelines. When it was first developed back in the 1920s, it contained chlorofluorocarbon and was known as R22. It took about 90 years to pull it off the market despite chlorofluorocarbon being linked to climate change. Fortunately, as of 2010, no new R22 units were created, although R22 was still in production to recharge existing units until January 1, 2020.

As of 2010, new units were made with R-410A refrigerant, which was all available in a new unit until recently. Sadly, R-410A has hydrofluorocarbon in it, which has also been linked to climate change and environmental damage. The good news is that the damage caused by R-410A was caught pretty quickly, and manufacturers have already begun switching to R-454b refrigerant.

R-454b has several perks, including the fact that it can be replaced via the drop-in method much more easily than R-410A could. On the bad side, however, is that this new, superior refrigerant cannot be used in an old system. Therefore, you’ll have to wait until you can replace your existing unit to begin experiencing the benefits of R-454b.

5. Unfortunate but Necessary Price Hikes

There are several exciting changes happening within the HVAC community, but it might hurt you financially for a while. Some units still use HFC refrigerant, and it will be harder to find than ever in 2024. That’s because HFCs such as R-410A and R-134a will experience another 30 percent cut in production. If you add this to the 10% reduction they faced in 2020, HFCs will soon be 40 percent harder to find. They’re also likely to become much more expensive too.

This represents the unfortunate but necessary steps that must be taken to stop using so much harmful hydrofluorocarbon. The earth will benefit, and your life should get a bit easier and less expensive in the long run. However, it will cost you money upfront, and it will get even harder to keep your existing HFC operational going forward. Eventually, just as they did with R22, there will be no way at all to purchase HFCs. Therefore, if you have an R-410A unit that you love, be sure to take excellent care of it to help extend its lifespan.

6. HVAC as a Service

Finally, we expect to see a major increase in the HVAC-based subscription service idea. Rather than paying for each issue as it arises, HVACaaS will ultimately save customers money while also providing HVAC companies with an increase in business. That’s because having a subscription will make homeowners more likely to utilize an HVAC service, which means they’ll be able to get their issues taken care of before they become a major problem.

Jacksonville HVAC Company

J&W Heating and Air has been taking care of the Jacksonville area since 1966! We provide a complete array of HVAC services, along with indoor air quality, duct services, thermostats, zone control systems, and energy audits. Look no further when you need someone to repair or replace your heating and cooling equipment.

When it’s time to get a new heat pump or other HVAC unit, contact J&W Heating and Air right away. We’ll be pleased to take care of the issue, and we offer financing and maintenance plans to help!

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