Under Insulated Homes Offer New Opportunities for HVAC Contractors
New research released by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) shows that a staggering 90 percent of existing U.S. homes are under-insulated. This lack of insulation is a burden for residential HVAC systems and a hindrance when it comes to indoor comfort and household energy expenses.
Boston University’s Dr. Jonathan Levy states that if insulation levels in these homes were brought up to the standards indicated in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential energy use across the nation would drop significantly. Residential electricity consumption would fall approximately five percent while natural gas consumption would drop over 10 percent. Other benefits of increased residential insulation include improved indoor air quality and lower carbon dioxide emissions, both resulting in improved public health.
Insulation for HVAC Contractors
So how can HVAC contractors help solve this nationwide insulation problem? Educating homeowners on the HVAC-related benefits of upping their insulation levels is a starting point.
Insulation is out of sight, and often out of mind for homeowners. Those living in older homes simply do not know their homes are likely to be under-insulated in comparison to homes built in recent years, following newer standards. While homeowners can visualize the need for energy efficient windows, they cannot see the attic full of air leaks and low insulation levels — while easily overlooked, insulation has three times as much impact on household energy efficiency and indoor comfort than doors or windows.
As homeowners look to you for energy efficient equipment and advice on conserving energy, remind them that their household insulation is an important component to the overall efficiency of any heating or cooling system. If homes are under-insulated, the home will lose heating and cooling energy, lowering HVAC system efficiency.
In partnership with ENERGY STAR, NAIMA’s “Rule Your Attic!” campaign aims to educate homeowners on the benefits of improving their home’s insulation levels. NAIMA has put together a campaign toolkit to assist contractors in educating homeowners regarding the benefits of air sealing and insulation.
Using The Whole Home Approach
As the HVAC industry advances, more contractors are taking the whole home approach. Adding insulation services to your company’s existing HVAC service is an easy starting point for HVAC contractors looking to make the move to whole home performance contracting. Contractors add value for their customers by offering insulation installation service which will directly benefit the performance of their HVAC systems.
Many HVAC contractors have already realized the potential of offering insulation solutions, and their businesses are growing. While partnering with an insulation installer may make sense starting out, most contractors have experienced the greatest growth by bringing the process in-house. Contractors report hiring additional crew or redirecting current employees to perform insulation installations. Doing so allows companies to retain more control over quality and scheduling, minimizing disruptions to their clients.
Guarantee success by investing in the proper training, certification, and tools for your team. Whole home performance contracting entails many different specialties beyond HVAC; it is critical that your team understand the issues facing the whole home to provide proper services.
As winter approaches, you’re likely to find more customers looking for ways to boost heating efficiency. Help your homeowners get to the root of residential energy loss by offering whole home insulation solutions.
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