Idaho Contractor Takes Green Philosophy Very Seriously

January 19, 2009
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BOISE, Idaho - Bob Barnes, vice-president of Western Heating & Air of Boise, Idaho, takes energy efficiency and green technology very seriously. So seriously that his business has been given significant awards for its work in promoting clean and energy-efficient indoor environments.

Western was a 2006 Northwest Energy Star HVAC Dealer of the Year and a 2007 Idaho Energy Star Dealer of the Year. Sales manager Ival Turner said there are definite reasons why his company is an award winner. “Energy Star is a program we believe in,” he said. “Western has been involved for about 10 years with Energy Star practices. We were instrumental in educating builders by hosting monthly classes along with a third-party verifier and a representative from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA).

“The verifier is the person who does the duct blaster test. A code-built home duct system leaks as much as 30 percent, we get leakage of 0-4 percent. We also work with some of the largest Energy Star builders in the area.”


Western has been involved with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for several years and continues to work with local builders on how HVAC systems play a predominant part in LEED homes.

“Western has been involved in the LEED program from the very beginning in the community,” Turner said. “We completed the first Platinum certification home in the state and the first Gold home certification in the state.

“We like to be involved from the very beginning and work with builder and customer in design, efficiencies, and pay back. HVAC is the heartbeat of the home and has the potential to have the best payback with these programs.”

The company educates homeowners on how investing in an energy-efficient unit now will be a long-term payoff. They compare a 30-year mortgage versus operating and energy costs using an operating-cost calculator.

Western is also active on the Green Building Council for the Building Contractors of Southwest Idaho, and it is in the process of adopting the green building policies set by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Builder and customer satisfaction comes with ease when using the practices of Energy Star or LEED for homes,” said Turner.


Western Heating & Air Conditioning was a 2007 Bryant Medal of Excellence (MOE) winner, one of only 15 chosen among 4,000 U.S. Bryant dealers. According to Bryant, MOE “is a program that recognizes the dealers that are doing ‘whatever it takes’ to improve their overall business and excel in the marketplace. This multi-level program evaluates dealers based on several key elements of a dealer’s business: overall sales growth, high efficiency sales growth, indoor air quality sales growth, customer satisfaction, dealer program utilization, and a self assessment. These are key elements in the marketplace that objectively determine how dealers are performing.”

Publication date: 01/19/2009

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