Comfort to the Maxx

January/February 2010
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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January 07, 2010
In the September/October issue of Home Energy, which includes the Home Performance Contractor’s Business Development Guide, David Butler makes an important point about home performance contracting (p. 6): “The home performance industry is largely unprepared to provide HVAC guidance. This is incredibly ironic, considering that HVAC is by far the largest energy user in the home.” Having gone through home performance training, I find this rings true. A few years ago, when I started doing home energy audits, it became painfully obvious, very quickly, that the training I received had taught me very little about HVAC systems. I was able to advise clients about dangerous conditions, as per the Building Performance Institute’s combustion testing standards. To resolve comfort issues, I would suggest duct sealing and possibly equipment replacement. To address energy efficiency, I would recommend high-efficiency equipment. After offering that sage advice, I would point the client to a few local HVAC contractors with good reputations, washing my hands of the whole situation. It never felt quite right, but in hindsight, it’s downright embarrassing. Some HVAC contractors are getting home performance training and putting it to good use. Likewise, a few home ...

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