Duct Expertise Takes HVAC Contractors from Good to GreatKevin Dugan
Aeroseal’s recent duct expert webinar is designed to help HVAC contractors level up as we all #stayathome with some (social) distance learning. Led by industry veteran and HVAC expert, Ken Summers, attendees learned how to look beyond the box to be more helpful to the homeowner and to improve sales.
“As we become more concerned than ever with the air we breathe, HVAC contractors need to consider the entire HVAC system and all of its components to solve homeowner problems,” said Ken Summers, Aeroseal’s VP of Training. “It usually takes more than a new air conditioner or furnace to solve the comfort and energy savings problems homeowners can experience. Similarly, air filters, UV lights and other accessories can’t address indoor air quality (IAQ) issues by themselves. In addition to being more helpful to the homeowner, your business will benefit from offering a more comprehensive approach to solving HVAC problems.”
HVAC contractors benefit from this expanded focus as well, with multiple benefits for their business.
- Reduction in callbacks and complaints
- Creating a competitive point of difference for your company
- Increasing leads at low cost
- Increased profits
The HVAC System is a Three-Legged Stool
A simple way to consider the entire system and its impact on the home is to consider its primary components as three legs of a stool.
- Equipment: The furnace and air conditioner are the foundation of any HVAC system and come in a variety of types to meet any home’s needs, including high-performance models. But none of this equipment can deliver to its full potential if a home’s ducts are leaky. It is important to choose the correct size. But this cannot be done accurately with leaky ductwork.
- Ductwork: The majority of a home’s ductwork cannot be seen by the homeowner. But it is literally connected to most of the airflow and ventilation issues in the home.
- Building Envelope: In addition to duct leakage, a home needs insulation and air sealing to eliminate leaks, including where the roof and floor meet the exterior and interior walls.
Working together, these components form a strong HVAC system capable of helping any house stay comfortable with clean air and lower utility bills.
Leaky Ducts Impact the Home
Duct leaks make the home uncomfortable with uneven temperatures. On the supply side, duct leakage will make a home go negative and decrease IAQ by allowing pollen, dust, and other outdoor contaminants to infiltrate the home. On the return side, leakage pressurizes the home and draws the air from contaminated spaces, including attics, crawl spaces, or attached garages. This may not seem like a serious issue — until it is quantified.
Due to mechanical pressures, a one-square-inch hole in a duct would have the same impact as a 30-square-inch hole. That may not seem like much. But the average home can have significantly greater leakage, leading to as much as 40 percent of HVAC energy according to the DOE. By being able to diagnose and repair ducts, contractors can make a huge difference in the home.
“To go from good to great takes training, support, and planning, but it’s worth it. We’ve found a whole new way to look at our customers’ homes.”
Expanding Focus to Home Performance
Expanding the focus from equipment to home performance builds on the contractor’s existing equipment expertise. And with the right training, it only requires adding a few services.
John Barron, owner of Barron Heating and Air in northwest Washington, has seen the impact on his business.
“We assumed home performance services were for competitors who weren’t as good at installing equipment,” said Barron. “But there’s only so much price optimization and installation efficiency to be found. After adding home and duct performance contracting as well as Aeroseal to our offering in 2012, we have found a whole new way to look at our customers’ homes. To go from good to great takes training, support, and planning, but it is worth it. It’s an evolution, not a revolution.”