Draft of Quality Installation Spec Introduced

May 8, 2006
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Contractor Ray Isaac (above) and contractor Skip Snyder (below), along with Glenn Hourahan, vice president of ACCA’s Research and Technology Division, presented the draft version of ACCA’s new HVAC Quality Installation Specification at the association’s 2006 conference.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - It's now official. Three members who helped in the creation of Air Conditioning Contractors of America's (ACCA's) new HVAC Quality Installation Specification introduced the draft version of the document at the association's 2006 convention. Glenn Hourahan, vice president of ACCA's Research and Technology Division, was on hand to provide input and answer questions regarding the association's newest initiative. Joining him were contractors and fellow specification committee members Ray Isaac and Skip Snyder.

"We will be releasing to ANSI [American National Standards Institute] the public review version of the Quality Installation Specification soon," said Hourahan. "It will take about two more weeks before it is announced by ANSI. At the same time ACCA will be doing a release soon, advising how folks can get a copy and submit comments."

The HVAC Quality Installation Specification was written, as it states in the draft's foreword, "with the intent to improve the core competencies of contractors to ensure that quality installations occur." For more than a year, a coalition of contractors, OEMs, utilities, and industry associations collaborated to establish a set of nationally accepted requirements for quality contractors (QC) and quality installations (QI).

"Characterizing the attributes of a quality contractor and a quality installation is a critical first step to establish a raised bar that is representative of the core competencies expected of contractors in the HVACR industry," said Isaac.

TWO PARTS TO SPECIFICATION

In the draft's foreword, it states, "Until now, across the broad spectrum of the industry, there has been no universally accepted definition of a quality contractor or a quality installation." This was the committee's mission. In the end, there are two parts to the specification.

Part 1 contains quality contractor elements. This section focuses on how a contracting business operates, safeguards its employees, and handles customer issues. These business attributes include licensing, insurance, refrigeration certification, code requirements, and hazard materials regulations. In regard to business practices, it stresses "an adherence to industry standards and recommended practices," system performance and evaluation, continuing education, and safety programs.

In the customer satisfaction section, the document states that contractors need to have a written policy on customer interactions, building inspections, assessment of customer satisfaction, and one "that supports a customer satisfaction program that compares and tracks actual results after installation to expected results."

Part 2 contains the elements necessary for quality installation. As it states in the draft, "Quality installation is more than just using high-efficiency products and systems. Correct selections of equipment and/or controls and proper installation have a large impact on occupant satisfaction and energy savings." The document identifies both core elements of quality installation and appropriate field verification approaches.

According to the specification, core areas that characterize a quality installation include equipment aspects, equipment installation aspects, duct distribution aspects, and system documentation and owner education aspects.

"Quality contractors providing quality installations will become sought after by consumers who will know what to ask for, what to look for, and what to expect from the HVAC contractor," it states in the document. "Informed purchases will produce an appreciation for the cost effectiveness of QC and QI."

Refer to the March 20, 2006 issue of The NEWS, "Quality Measures a Contractor's Worth," for more information. Visit ACCA's Website (www.acca.org/quality/) to download more information on the QC/QI effort.

Publication date: 05/08/2006

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