While some service contractors have not used them yet, a growing legion employ innovative ways of marketing locking caps to the public. Some do it as community goodwill, a profit maker or a combination of both.
The 2009 International Mechanical Code (IMC) initially introduced locking caps to inspectors and contractors when it mandated them on all newly installed units. The mandate aimed at reducing the troubling uptick of teen air-conditioning refrigerant-related huffing deaths in the last decade. The escalating price of R-22 during its current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phaseout and the resultant rash of stolen refrigerant appearing on the black market brought yet another reason to lock air-conditioning refrigerant ports.
Now, the 2015 IMC—which will be adopted into most state, county and city jurisdictions during the next few years—calls for a locking-cap installation on any system opened for servicing. San Antonio, TX is one of the first major metropolitan areas to apply the 2015 IMC.
With year-after-year double-digit growth and a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 14 percent between 2013 and 2020, opportunities in the ductless market are sprouting like May flowers.
“It’s, without question, one of the fastest-growing segments in North American HVAC,” said Tom Lahutsky, senior product manager, Lennox Intl. Inc. “The market is very competitive. There are a lot of different solutions out there from some very good suppliers. This growth, which means more units are being shipped, pulls all the manufacturers in.”
Lennox is one of many companies updating its product portfolio in an effort to keep up with the accelerated progress of the sector.
“The ductless market will continue to grow. We don’t see any end in sight for it,” said Lahutsky. “We’ll continue to invest in this area and update our products.”
Lightweight 4000 lbs. cable puller
Slimduct professional duct/ fitting system hides unsightly AC lineset.
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