The HVAC industry is being revolutionized by 3D printing as temperatures continue to rise.

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Air Conditioning Mandates: Opportunities for Innovation in the HVAC and 3D Printing Industry

It is no secret that access to clean air and clean water are fundamental human rights that should be prioritized. However, with the increase in temperatures exceeding 100°F (37.8°C) for prolonged periods, the need for regulated air conditioning in buildings is becoming a necessity. This has created both challenges and opportunities for the HVAC and 3D printing industry to innovate and adapt.

Several cities have already implemented mandatory air conditioning requirements. For instance, New York City (NYC) has made it mandatory for rent-controlled apartments to have air conditioning when a tenant begins a lease. Landlords are then obligated to provide air conditioning perpetually. Moreover, all schools in NYC are now required to have air conditioning.

In 2022, Chicago passed a comprehensive cooling ordinance that mandates certain new and existing residential buildings to install air conditioning equipment in indoor common gathering areas. These areas must be made available to building residents as cooling centers when the outdoor heat index exceeds 80°F (26.7°C). The use of temporary (portable) air conditioning equipment is permitted until April 30, 2024, after which permanent equipment must be installed.

Montgomery County, Maryland was the first to introduce an ordinance that establishes an 80°F (26.7°C) or lower temperature threshold during the summer months. This means property owners must provide and maintain air conditioning units for their tenants. In cities like Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, landlords are required to provide HVAC units or evaporative coolers that maintain room temperature below specific thresholds.

Dallas, Texas takes it a step further by imposing a required temperature cap of 85°F (29.4°C) between April and November. Landlords in Dallas are also obligated to have HVAC systems that can reduce indoor temperatures by at least fifteen degrees lower than the outside temperature. These regulations set technical codes with minimum standards and may involve HVAC unit repairs in certain cases.

Some cities, like San Antonio, Texas, have taken more proactive measures by purchasing air conditioning units for public housing using funds from foundations, housing authorities, and the city’s general fund. Los Angeles, California is also considering a cooling ordinance to address the increased number of emergency room visits during heatwaves. However, landlords have expressed concerns about the financial burden of additional costs associated with these regulations.

In addition to local initiatives, there are various federal policy changes aimed at providing immediate relief to families affected by heatwaves and the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have set aside funds to provide air conditioners to communities in need. Coordinating federal, state, and local efforts is crucial for maximizing benefits and improving conditions for many individuals.

The growing trend of mandatory air conditioning presents significant new opportunities for the HVAC industry. Companies have been leveraging innovation, such as 3D printing, to develop more energy-efficient HVAC units. Even well-known brands like Carrier and Trane are increasingly utilizing 3D printing technology. This not only enhances product development but can also contribute to a company’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits. Wages for technical employees involved in creating, testing, and revising 3D printed prototypes can be included as eligible expenses for the R&D Tax Credit. Similarly, integrating 3D printing hardware and software for process improvements can also qualify for the credit. Additionally, 3D printing is instrumental in modeling and preproduction stages.

Cities like Phoenix, Arizona, Florida, and Texas experience sustained high temperatures during the summer months, making living conditions unbearable. However, with the implementation of air conditioning mandates and the innovative use of technologies like 3D printing, the HVAC industry is rising to the challenge. By creating more energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions, companies can contribute to improving living conditions and ensuring access to clean air for all.

As the world continues to experience sustained high temperatures, the impact on human health conditions becomes increasingly concerning. It is expected that more US jurisdictions will enact statutes requiring air conditioning capability for various building types in order to mitigate the adverse effects caused by extreme heat.

In the midst of these developments, it is important to recognize the role that the 3D printing industry can play in helping to achieve better living conditions for a larger number of people. The ability to create and test prototypes, as well as engage in final production, through the use of 3D printing technology, signifies that companies are engaged in R&D Credit eligible activities.

Not only does 3D printing offer numerous advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness and efficiency, but it also paves the way for innovative solutions to address the challenges posed by rising temperatures. By harnessing the capabilities of this technology, companies can contribute to the development of air conditioning systems that are not only effective but also sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Additionally, in the process of utilizing 3D printing for creating and refining prototypes, there is an opportunity to recover the costs associated with the filaments consumed. This can be a significant incentive for companies considering the adoption of this technology, as it not only helps to offset expenses but also encourages further research and development efforts.

By leveraging the power of 3D printing, companies can actively participate in the creation of solutions that enhance living conditions for individuals across the globe. From designing energy-efficient air conditioning systems to developing sustainable cooling technologies, the possibilities are vast.

In conclusion, the integration of 3D printing technology in the pursuit of better living conditions is a testament to the potential of innovation and research. The R&D Tax Credits available for companies engaged in these activities further incentivize the adoption of 3D printing. Together, we can work towards a future where the impact of sustained high temperatures is mitigated, and the well-being of individuals is prioritized. Share this post to raise awareness about the significant role that the 3D printing industry can play in achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.

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