New ENERGY STAR Program Focuses On Duct Sealing And InstallationKevin Dugan
A few days ago, a couple hundred duct sealing and home performance experts gathered together for an industry summit. During the three-day event, a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its new residential ENERGY STAR program – one that reflects a major change in how the agency views and awards ENERGY STAR certification to homeowners. The new program, called ENERGY STAR Verified HVAC Installation (ESVI), was designed to place new emphasis on the importance of duct sealing and other best practices related to HVAC installation for maximizing home energy efficiency. “Many HVAC programs focus almost exclusively on the nameplate rated efficiency of the HVAC equipment itself, often disregarding the critical role that duct sealing and proper installation plays in achieving improved energy efficiency,” said Chandler von Schrader, national program manager for the ESVI program. “The new ESVI program addresses this shortcoming by refocusing its attention on a whole-HVAC-system approach to energy efficiency certification.” According to von Schrader, homeowners interested in ENERGY STAR level performance will now have more than simply price on which to base their purchasing decision. “As well as offering a high-efficiency product, contractors will need to implement solid installation practices and prove they’ve met a high standard of energy efficiency in order to receive ENERGY STAR certification,” said von Schrader. “In many cases, a technology like aeroseal may be the only way to meet the energy efficient standards this requires.” With ESVI, homeowners looking for ENERGY STAR certification of their HVAC system may begin by finding a participating HVAC contractor. The contractor, working with a third-party verification organization, will install or upgrade the HVAC system using best installation practices as outlined by the ESVI program. When the job is completed, the contractor will submit his/her work for testing and verification. Once the quality of the work is confirmed, the homeowner will receive the ESVI Certificate for the new system. “In the past, a homeowner could buy an ENERGY STAR-rated air conditioner or furnace thinking he or she will automatically receive the energy savings and high efficiency for which that system is rated. But unless that unit is installed properly and the duct system is running effectively, it will never provide the expected results,” said Bryan Barnes, Aeroseal’s Senior Director of Business Development. “Now, through the ESVI program, homeowners can rest comfortably knowing their new system is delivering the comfort and energy efficiency for which it was built to provide.” You can find more information about the new ESVI program by visiting the EPA’s website at http://bit.ly/2cx9L63.