5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'
The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly cost more money up front, compared to the minimum efficiency systems. Taking into account existing repair bills, utility bills, installation, and equipment costs, a high-efficient furnace, boiler, or heat pump will cost the homeowner less over the estimated 10-15 years of operation. When completing the 'Simple Payback' calculation, the high-efficient heating system in New England will win-out every time! The strategy for High-Efficient Air-Conditioning Equipment is to use Rebate amounts in the calculation. Due to much less run times, without introducing utility rebates into the equation, High-Efficiency Air-Conditioning can be a tough sell! Be sure to highlight the additional features, such as increased comfort, indoor air quality, reduced noise, and environmental impact that can not be reflected in the payback calculation alone.

2. Trusting Load Calculations (ACCA Manual J)
One of the first barriers a new energy efficiency contractor must break through is proper equipment sizing. Learning to complete a site survey, and enter gathered information into a software program can appear elementary. Except, now you need to trust the number provided and install equipment to match that load. Please, have no fear! If completed correctly the system design process works! You must use your local design temperatures and proper indoor conditions to satisfy local codes. Do not manipulate this information as oversized equipment will likely operate less efficient than that 13 SEER A/C or 7.5 HSPF Heat Pump you have moved on from installing.

3. 'Customer Education after Equipment Installation'
Properly sized, high-efficient equipment does not operate the same way as the larger, less efficient counterparts. These systems will not have quick recovery times and are sized to maintain comfort in the home. This means customer education after equipment installation. Be sure that the programmable thermostat does not get set back too far, only a few degrees in cooling. Also, the controller should not be an on/off switch! Remind your customers that setback on a hot summer day is recommended instead of turning your thermostat to 'Off'. This will make them more comfortable when they arrive home from work, and save peak power during the highest demand. I have heard contractors explain to their customers that on a hot day, if the thermostat was off, the system may take up to one hour per degree to recover!

4. Maintenance
In order to meet customer's expectations, and manufacturer warrantees, annual maintenance of high-efficient HVAC equipment is mandatory! Whether it is basic air filter and coil cleanings for air-conditioners, CO safety checks on furnaces, or possible limescale removal from a boiler, annual maintenance is required to achieve the efficiencies promised in the sales process. Start educating the customer at this point, do not let it be a surprise years down the road after equipment failure. If adopting this path, your preventive maintenance program should flourish with happy, vocal customers.

5. Contractor & Technician Continuing Education
When you make a conscious effort to promote energy efficiency and increase your brand, continuing education becomes a necessity. Every year manufacturers and distributors introduce new, more efficient equipment to your sales team, teach the technicians how to maintain and service, only to turn around and make changes the following season. This process can become frustrating to even the most motivated contractors. If you want to participate in this process, continuing education to keep up with new technology is a must! Do not skip that evening class at your local distributor next week. Just ask any of the Old Timers in HVAC, just blink and the industry will pass you by!

http://excessair.blogspot.com/2014/04/5-things-new-energy-efficienc...

Views: 494

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Curt Kinder on April 19, 2014 at 3:27am

You left out air distribution...Without at least a passing glance at how much air moves through the system, comfort failure is a real possibility. Right-sizing via Man J is all well and good, but the system will deliver well short of rated capacity if airflow is too low.

Don't sell systems with standard 1" filters. If the client won't come off the extra $250-300 for a deep media cabinet capable of securely holding a 4-5" deep filter, direct sales effort elsewhere.

Featured Forum Discussions

Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?

Started by Steve in General Forum. Last reply by Walter Ahlgrim 9 hours ago. 3 Replies

Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.

Started by Daniel James Grundy in Training. Last reply by Daniel James Grundy 13 hours ago. 5 Replies

BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?

Started by Brad Cook in General Forum. Last reply by John Nicholas 19 hours ago. 2 Replies

Strange IR Image

Started by Larry Nissman in General Forum. Last reply by Brad Cook Mar 9. 7 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Walter Ahlgrim replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"The 5 ton system you have is not 500 hp racecar engines they are 500 hp truck engines. The duct…"
9 hours ago
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"So I wanted to start with a basic who can help then go into more detail later. But yes find…"
13 hours ago
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"My tutor got back to me and while areas don't quite feel right a little to much assumptions…"
13 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"Daniel, I'm assuming you're trying to predict the airflows through the different openings…"
15 hours ago
Martin Newmark joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
17 hours ago
John Nicholas replied to Brad Cook's discussion BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?
"If the drywall is in good shape, you should have little worries about the 50pa depressurization…"
19 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"Does the house ever feel clammy? Do you have to keep the thermostat below 74 to be comfortable? Is…"
22 hours ago
Danielle Sass Byrnett liked Diane Chojnowski's blog post Don MacOdrum receives BPI's 2017 Tony Woods Award!
22 hours ago

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service