3 New Year's Resolutions Every Energy Rater Should Make in 2016
It’s that time of year again! Time for family get-togethers, secret Santas, and of course, New Year’s resolutions. For many people, this means working out, starting a new hobby, or quitting smoking. While these make great personal resolutions, we’d like to help you explore professional resolutions for next year. The team at The Energy Conservatory put together three New Year’s resolutions every energy rater should make in 2016 to keep you up to date with the changing industry and help advance your career in the year ahead.
Resolution #1: Continue your education.
Home performance organizations offer many opportunities for continuing education, both formally and informally. Informal education includes reading industry publications, watching how-to YouTube videos, and perusing the latest white papers. Keeping up with these resources helps you find solutions to common problems and identify more efficient methods of conducting energy tests.
On the other hand, formal education includes earning continued education units (CEUs) from organizations such as the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Currently, these organizations offer more than 450 ways to earn CEUs through classroom training, technical conferences, webinars, and online training. Earning CEUs keeps your professional skills fresh, helps you earn certification and can lead to a pay increase. If you’re a qualified professional, you can also earn CEUs by sharing your knowledge through presentations or written articles.
Resolution #2: Connect with peers in the home performance industry.
One of the best ways to advance your career in 2016 is to get involved with the home performance industry by joining a professional organization or attending industry conferences. Here are two leading conferences we recommend:
1. ACI National Home Performance Conference
The ACI National Home Performance Conference is one of our industry’s most informational events because it brings together the brightest minds in home performance and weatherization. One benefit of attending conferences like this one is the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals who are facing the same challenges as you. In addition to the planned workshops and speakers, the ability to connect with your peers through informal conversations offers great learning experiences for attendees. The 2016 ACI conference will be held April 4–7 in Austin, Texas. Register by March 3 to get the early registration price.
2. RESNET 2016 Conference
Another leading industry event is the RESNET 2016 Conference from February 29 to March 2 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Similar to the ACI conference, attendees can participate in the planned education agenda, trade show exhibits, and networking with peers. This year’s breakout sessions will include the when and where of equipment calibration; how to communicate the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index with appraisers and real estate agents; and the latest information on a standard for blower door and duct leakage testing to comply with the International Energy Conservation Code. Register by January 28 to save $100 on admission.
Resolution #3: Keep your equipment up to date.
You probably invested in high-quality air tightness testing equipment, so now it’s time make sure your equipment will perform well for years to come. The best way to do this is regular calibration of your digital pressure gauges and fans. Gauges typically need recalibration every one to five years, depending on their manufacturer. To see when your gauge was last calibrated, check your records or call your equipment manufacturer. If it’s time, send in your gauge for calibration. Your manufacturer will reset your gauge to display standard values, which ensures accurate readings when performing air tightness tests.
Contrary to gauges, fans only need calibration under special circumstances, such as a test procedure that complies with government standards. Before sending in your fan for calibration, perform an alignment check on it. This is a quick procedure that will help you determine whether your fan needs to be sent in for a full calibration. Follow the steps in this link for a fan alignment check.
Of course, after many years of use, there comes a time when you should completely replace your equipment. Take a look at this home-performance product roundup for the newest gauges, fans, and inspection tools.
While personal New Year’s resolutions are important, take a moment to consider making professional resolutions next year. Continuing your education, getting involved in your industry, and keeping your equipment up to date will keep your knowledge growing in 2016 and may even lead to that promotion or new job you’ve had your eye on. Happy New Year!
Kim Tanner is marketing communications specialist for The Energy Conservatory, a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of energy testing and conservation equipment and software.
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