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Welcome to the Southeast Michigan Air Conditioning Contractors Association

Please bookmark this page for information on:
  • Member Input & Advice
  • Special Events
  • Industry News
  • Training
  • Regular Meetings
 
 

Member Info

View this page to meet and patronize your other
SEMIACCA
member contractors!
 
 
 
 

Monthly Meeting

June Meeting:
Wednesday, June 1
Leon’s Restaurant of Livonia
Dinner at 5:30; Meeting at 6:30
 
 
 
 

Upcoming Events

View our calendar of events to
see what upcoming
events you can connect and be a part of.
 
 

Member Info

View this page to meet and patronize your other SEMIACCA member contractors!
 
 

Monthly Meeting

June Meeting:
Details Coming Soon!
 
 

Upcoming Events

View our calendar of events to see what upcoming events you can connect and be a part of.
 
 

2016 Associate Members

Residential Boiler Testing Requirement Changes

In Michigan, starting February 8, 2016 all residential boilers will be required to meet CSD-1 code, which requires testing of all boilers less than 12,500,000 btu/hr input. According to Jon Paradine, Assistant Chief of the Mechanical Division for the State of Michigan, this pertains to residential boilers only and it includes the city of Detroit. "It will be up to the homeowner to have a contractor out for a CSD inspection annually," he said.

The testing must be conducted by a licensed mechanical contractor with appropriate classification pursuant to 1984 PA 192, the Forbes Mechanical Act. There will be no reporting requirements from the contractor to the state.

Mechanical Code Changes for 2015 Michigan Residential Code

  1. New residences will required to have a whole house ventilation system. R303.4 Natural Ventilation is no longer acceptable. Unless house has an air exchange rate 5 ACH or more, which would then be a violation of the energy code which requires an ACH rate of no more than 4.
    WHOLE-HOUSE MECHANICAL VENTILATION SYSTEM. An exhaust system, supply system, or combination thereof that is designed to mechanically exchange indoor air for outdoor air where operating continuously or through a programmed intermittent schedule to satisfy the whole-house ventilation rate.
  2. Duct systems located in attics will required duct pressure testing. N1103.3.3
  3. All duct joints will have to be sealed. Duct seams which are button lock, or snap lockseams will have to be sealed also. M1601.4.1
  4. Whole house ventilation efficiency for bath fans and air handler units must have an efficiency of 2.8 CFM per watt. Furnace blower motor is allowed to be ECM type motor to meet this requirement. N1103.6.1
  5. Venting of Bath fans have limited lengths for ductwork per Table M1506.2. Fans also must be capable of producing .25" WC for the required CFM. Bath fans must have minimum capacity of 50 CFM intermittent or 20 CFM continuous. Kitchen exhaust fans must have a capacity of 100CFM minimum.
  6. Ventilation rates for whole house system (Outside Air) is per table M1507.3.3 (2).
  7. Return air systems can no longer use building framing cavities for ducts or plenums. Return air must be done sheet metal or other approved duct materials. N1103.3.5
  8. All furnaces and Air handling unit s must comply with ASHRAE standard 193 for air leakage rate not more than 2%, and must state this in equipment literature. N1103.2.2.1
  9. Whole ventilation system must operate in a continuous mode or have a control which cycles the 25% in a 4 hour segment which require more ventilation air per table M1507.3.3(1).
  10. Pre fabricated metal solid fuel fireplaces chimneys cannot have elbows that exceed 30 degrees from the vertical, and the chimney cap must be pitched 10 degrees to allowed drainage of water, and shall lap down 4". R1005.4 R1005.7

There are other changes in the code, it is strongly recommended that contractors obtain a copy of the code and become familiar with all the changes. E-mail to jhall@semiacca.org for order information.

Past & Present: Trade Shows & Other Events

Our 2016 Spring Trade Show & Educational Expo was a HUGE success.

Stay tuned for more photos...

There were lots of laughs among the show staff.
Many new exhibitors and faces at the show.
 

OUR Next BIG EVENT



Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Leon's Restaurant of Livonia
29041 W. Seven Mile, two blocks east of Middlebelt Road
Dinner at 5:30, Meeting at 6:30

Common Michigan Code Violations

The following is a list compiled by Mechanical Inspector Bill Moy at his most recent May 6th meeting:

  • Truss Loading: Roof Top Equipment (MMC 302.1/302.4)
  • Ventilation Required: RTU Replacement (MMC 401.1)
  • Flue Exhaust: 10' Minimum to Fresh Air Intakes (MMC 401.4)
  • Ventilation Air Requirements (MMC 403.3)
  • Exhaust Fan Discharge: Within 3' of Ventilated Section of Soffit (MMC 501.3.2)
  • Plenums: Combustibles (PVC Pipe, Alarm/Computer Wires) (MMC 602.2.1)
  • Stud Cavities: From More than One Floor-Outside Wall (MRC 1601.1.1/MMC 602.3)
  • Insulation Shield (IFGC 502.4/MMC 802.8)
  • Commercial Appliances for Residential Use (IFGC 623.2/MMC 917.2)
  • Extend Supply Air Toe Kick to Front of Cabinets (Flame Spread) (MRC 1601.1)
  • Furnace Removal From Masonry Chimney Without Re-sizing for Existing Water Heater (MRC 1801.3.1)
  • Gas Piping for Townhouses: Cannot Extend into Connecting Units (IFGC 404.3)
  • Duct Insulation: Attic Areas, R-8, All Other Areas R-6 (Energy Code 403.2.1)
  • Duct Sealing (Energy Code 403.2.2)
  • Mechanical Ventilation: Dampers (Energy Code 403.5)
  • Flue Exhaust: Located 12' Above Grade and Anticipated Snow Level (Manufacturer Installation Requirement)

92 Percent Furnace Rule to Be Delayed?

(Reprinted with permission of The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, 08/24/2015, www.achrnews.com)
On July 22, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a markup session on draft legislation that would, among other things, delay the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) proposed 92 percent AFUE national furnace standard rulemaking and give stakeholders an opportunity to negotiate a new standard. Less than two weeks before that, the deadline for stakeholders to comment on the contentious furnace standard came and went, leaving the DOE to promulgate its final rule.

Meanwhile, as the DOE works on its final rule and Congress works on possibly delaying that rule, HVAC industry stakeholders have settled into a tenuous holding pattern with no other option than to wait and see what happens next.

FATAL FLAWS

Charlie McCrudden, senior vice president of government relations for ACCA, said many industry organizations — including ACCA; Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); and Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) — filed comments on the proposed standard before the July 10 deadline. The problem with the proposed standard, he said, is that it’s based on data and analyses that are incorrect or incomplete.

“We found that many economic inputs the DOE assumed for installation costs were off, which corrupted the final economic analysis of the life cycle cost and payback period and painted a rosier picture for homeowners,” McCrudden explained. “They’re inflating the benefits to a 92 percent standard. We feel there is a condensing furnace penalty in some installations, and that makes it difficult for many homeowners to justify a 92 percent furnace. The fact that 31 percent of homeowners in the South will never see a payback is concerning, and the DOE’s threshold for those who don’t get a benefit is too high. No matter how much energy they save, they’ll never see a return on investment because they had to pay so much for installation costs related to venting that exceed the cost of the basic installation [for a noncondensing furnace].”

AHRI also submitted similar comments.

“We had our own study done,” said Frank Stanonik, chief technical advisor at AHRI. “We hired an outside consultant, and, based on his review and our review, we submitted comments that the analysis the DOE did does not really justify any changes [to the standard].”

THE WAITING GAME

As the industry waits on the DOE, stakeholders are also keeping an eye on the legislation that could delay the department’s rulemaking.

“There have been ongoing discussions to find an appropriate alternative to the 92 percent rule to preserve the option for noncondensing furnaces,” McCrudden said. “And, there’s the draft legislation in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that has a provision delaying the implementation of the rule.”

That draft legislation, as it’s currently written, would require the DOE to update its proposed furnace rule by Oct. 31 to provide notice and an opportunity to comment on separating nonweatherized natural gas furnaces into two or more product classes with separate energy conservation standards based on input rate. Stakeholders would have until Jan. 1, 2016, to submit their joint recommendations, which will evaluate the negotiated standards and publish notice of the potential adoption of the standards proposed in the joint statement. The DOE will then solicit public comments for at least 30 days before publishing a final rule between July 1, 2016, and July 31, 2016.

“Whether that can work its way through and be signed before the DOE finalizes the rule, I don’t know,” said Jon Melchi, vice president of government affairs and business development, HARDI. “The one thing I can say is that all the stakeholders — the energy-efficiency community, utilities, builders, HVAC — seem to be working together on something that is palatable to everyone. That being said, there were some compelling comments that there may be flaws within DOE’s analysis, and maybe some process flaws, as well. I think those are certainly going to be thought out.”

ASKING FOR MORE TIME

Industry leaders have made it clear they support energy-efficiency standards, but only when those standards are technologically feasible for the manufacturers and economically justified for the entire supply chain, all the way down to the end user. In this case, the industry is requesting more time — either from DOE or from Congress — to find a better solution that meets those criteria.

“We’re still supportive of trying to save energy and promoting energy-efficient products, but it has to be the right choice for the consumer — it has to be economically appropriate for them. It can’t be a rule that puts some people in a bad position when they need a furnace,” Stanonik said. “Since the court remanded this whole rule to the DOE [last year], we’ve been in discussions with all of the interested stakeholders to see if there is some point where everybody could agree on a revised standard.”

Some stakeholders also agree that, unless changes are made to the proposed standard, the DOE could very well find itself the target of another lawsuit.

“If the DOE finalizes that rule at 92 percent and there is no fix, almost certainly this will be litigated,” Melchi said. “Nobody wants to be opposed to everything, and nobody wants to be in court, but as far as the 92 percent proposed rule goes, we’re just sitting there at this crossroads of what technology will allow us to do versus the real cost to consumers and viability in certain markets. There is a social cost to these regulations.”

Regardless whether an act of Congress or a decision from the DOE buys more time, stakeholders have been vocal about their willingness to come up with a solution that is fair to everyone involved.

“That’s really kind of, in a nutshell, what we’re trying to tell DOE,” Stanonik said. “Give all of us who are involved a little more time to see if we can hammer something out.”