Tom Roberts, chair of the HVACR Council, led discussions on four major fronts: R-410A management, equipment and unitary sales in the current economic climate, regional standards, and the implications of financing for repair versus replacement sales.
The standards discussion raised a few eyebrows as an American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) staff person spoke briefly about the direction of regulations in the industry.
Harvey Sachs, Ph.D., a senior fellow with the ACEEE Buildings Program said, “It will shift a lot of responsibility for compliance from the manufacturer to the contractor. The Quality Installation initiative by ACCA is greatly needed and appreciated. The truth is, in all our field studies, 25 percent of the energy efficiency is being lost between the plenum and the return - that is simply nuts.”
Sach’s simple complaint was echoed by Glenn Hourahan P.E., vice president research and technology at ACCA. Hourahan is spearheading ACCA’s Quality Installation Specification that has been ANSI-approved and adopted by the U.S. Energy Protection Agency for a new, voluntary Energy Star® Residential Quality Installation program aimed at existing homes. Hourahan said, “As an industry we must demand proper design, sizing-selection, installation, and maintenance. Business as normal is no longer acceptable. Achieving a minimum level of installation quality is not a luxury.”
According to Hourahan, the root cause of the numerous woes with today’s HVAC installations is an inadequately trained workforce and poor follow-up and verification in the field. He encouraged HARDI members to promote the three-pronged approach to QI that ACCA has developed: Quality Installations, Quality Installation Verification, and Quality Maintenance.
For more information, visit www.hardinet.org.