Performance Contracting is a new phrase in the building community. You may have heard the phrase Energy Auditing; however US Air Contractors is taking this to another level. Smart home buyers are seeking out building contractors who will guarantee pre-specified energy performance benchmarks. Without getting into global economics here, energy costs in America have been very low for generations. Have you ever noticed what a liter of gasoline costs in Europe? Clearly, the wake up call has been ringing for several years now. Energy is no longer cheap. Many people have been thumping the snooze button, while others, the shrewd and savvy, have acquired an attraction for advanced energy consumption practices.
We can’t help but shine a light on the social aspects here. Why wouldn’t a home buyer not be very interested in the energy consuming characteristics of the home they are about to invest in? Why would a consumer pay more money on kitchen cabinets than on a heating system? Why would a consumer let the building contractor have complete authority over what HVAC system gets installed?
At this point, you must be thinking: We will have our home inspected by the building department, why in the world would we want to pay someone else to do the same job? Answer: because in Georgia (and most every other state for that matter), the building community is not required to document (or prove) how well the building or HVAC system is performing from an energy standpoint. There are no quantitative requirements regarding duct leakage and home infiltration. We really regret being the bearer of bad news, but if there are no minimum requirements (real world, not theoretical) being applied, what exactly do you expect in this competitive world of home construction?
Depending on what your background is, or even how much of this web site you have read so far, you may know that the energy required to heat and cool a building falls evenly on several factors, with some being obvious, and other items typically being overlooked:
How large the home is (very obvious) The Heating and Air Conditioning Systems Energy Performance rating (fairly obvious)
How well the house is built (fairly obscure)
How well the Heating and Air Conditioning System is installed (very obscure)
At US Air Contractors, our consulting services are designed to save you time and money. We can come up with design specification packages for your upcoming project with a variety of performance provisions. We can work with minimal interaction with your chosen building professionals, or with thorough interaction. We can design sliding scale performance plans where if the building and its HVAC Heating and Air Conditioning System result in very high performance rating, you reward your building professionals (the builder, the HVAC installer) with a pre-determined bonus. If the systems perform poorly, your agreement will require that the systems be improved, or a (again pre-determined) financial forfeiture is initiated.
Any professional in the construction industry, whether builder or HVAC contractor should welcome this arrangement. However, because the concept is so new, don’t be surprised if you don’t receive favorable reactions at first. The contractors throughout the land put a lot of heart and effort into their craft, and this concept just might come across as foreign to some of these hard working people.
Q- I’ve never heard of this, is this new?
A- No. Energy Auditors have been around for years. If you spend some time on the internet, you will learn that there have been many studies regarding home energy performance (or lack there of). Go to web sites that are progressively minded like ours, and it will begin to make more sense. Go to http://www.energystar.gov/, http://www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com.
Q-What’s the difference between an Energy Auditor and US Air Contractors can provide?
A- Typically, Energy Auditors don’t design HVAC systems. Therefore a firm with energy measurement tools and HVAC contracting experience (Air Balancing, Duct Design, Equipment Layout and selection, Combustion knowledge) would have more skills to offer you. With our state of the art diagnostic tools and training we’ve acquired over the years, we can set aside our opinions and focus on the facts.
To set up a Performance Contracting appointment with our in-house HVAC Design/Build Engineer, please call 678-753-HVAC(4822).