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Are Consumer Protections in the Heating and Cooling Industry Working?

  • 1.  Are Consumer Protections in the Heating and Cooling Industry Working?

    BPA Staff Member
    Posted 14 days ago
    by Charles Cormany

    Along with plumbing and electricity, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is one of the three major systems in a home or building. Getting an HVAC installation right is the difference between having a comfortable, efficient system that saves energy versus an oversized, wasteful setup that will cost the customer money for years.

    HVAC systems all have an expected useful life (EUL) - a fancy way of saying things wear out and will need to be replaced. According to industry standards, the expected useful life for a residential furnace is 18 years. In practice, many systems continue to function beyond their expected useful life. This means that the performance of a new furnace you put in now will likely affect energy bills and comfort for a long time. Consumers and contractors often overlook this point when replacing or upgrading HVAC systems. 

    Most residential HVAC systems are replaced upon failure. The immediate need is to restore service quickly and frequently at the lowest possible price. Few contractors are concerned about providing the best solutions for your long-term needs. In fairness, most respond to customers' requests and often pick the quickest and easiest solution. This short-term thinking has a cost, though. 

    At Efficiency First, we have always supported high-performance solutions. This doesn't necessarily mean choosing the highest-end equipment.  You can have the most expensive equipment on the planet, and if it is not installed correctly, you will have performance issues. On the other hand, you can use less sophisticated equipment that is well-designed and installed correctly and achieve incredible results.

    Continue reading in the BPA Journal

    Macie Melendez
    Editor in Chief, Building Performance Journal
    Building Performance Association
    Moon Township PA

  • 2.  RE: Are Consumer Protections in the Heating and Cooling Industry Working?

    Posted 13 days ago
      |   view attached
    This is a great article and hits a number of the key problems. Working with clients to get HVAC systems properly installed, properly designed, properly sized, as well as trying to get attic planes properly sealed has been very frustrating. At this point I have not been able to get a single system proper or a single attic proper -- contractors just don't want to do it -- If confronted with a specification they will either say they will do it and not actually or they will back out all together.

    California wastes a tremendous amount of money on Energy Upgrade California and Flex Alert advertising -- A bunch of that money needs to go to advertising the advantages of getting a building permit and getting the mandatory inspections. Sell the advantages of doing it properly!!

    John Proctor
    Proctor Consulting
    Fairfax CA


    Dear Contractor.docx   314 KB 1 version