Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Homeowners: Don't get duped!

Read these tips on how to choose a contractor and protect your money.

Homeowners should be very careful before choosing a heating and cooling contractor for their home. There are huge differences in quality and professionalism throughout the industry. The "best" contractors will typically be members of one or more professional contractor associations. You should be looking for contractors who are well-educated and certified in three particular areas: 

Heating and Cooling - Service & Installation

While this may seem obvious, not all service and installation contractors are created equal. There are organizations that provide certification programs for technicians. One of which is The Building Performance Institute (BPI). BPI offers many types of certifications and is the nation's premier credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization for home performance professionals.

When considering which contractor to call, looking for companies with BPI certified professionals is a smart and safe approach. BPI certifications ensure that you are dealing with high quality, well trained heating and cooling professionals. 

Another organization dedicated to the education and training of heating and cooling contractors is The Comfort Institute. Comfort Institute is an organization of contractors who are committed to going "beyond the box" in the area of building science. Almost all members are also BPI certified. If you select a Comfort Institute Member, you are selecting a contractor who has been trained by the most experienced experts in the industry in the area of home performance. 

Duct Performance & Home Performance

The two additional areas your contractor should be well educated in are duct performance and home performance. This is where the Comfort Institute Members and BPI contractors excel and the rest of the contractors get left behind. Your comfort, indoor air quality and system efficiency will suffer if all three areas are not addressed. +
This is commonly referred to as the "three-legged stool approach." The three legs are: 

1) The furnace and air conditioning 
2) The duct system
3) The house itself 

Most contractors are trained on #1, but lack knowledge on #2 and #3. Rest assured that if you call a Comfort Institute Member, you are calling a contractor that has what it takes to address all three legs of the stool. To find a Comfort Institute Member in your area visit

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

How important is a "Home Energy Checkup"?

Only if you believe that a "leaky home" can waste money

  1. And you should! Whether you are heating or cooling your home, leaky homes can waste your hard-earned dollars! 

    The best way to evaluate your home is to have it professionally tested. Home energy assessments, home energy audits and home energy check-ups are all pretty much the same thing. The important element is to choose the right type of professional contractor to perform any one of these evaluations of your home. 

    As explained in this video from the U.S. Department of Energy, a home energy checkup is a series of tests and inspections to help determine how your home can be more efficient. Finding the source of inefficiencies in the home will help you understand how you could be wasting money. It is common to find problems in most homes like:

    1) insulation
    2) trap doors/access doors to attics
    3) lighting
    4) appliances
    5) dirty filters
    6) leaky duct work
    7) airflow and sources of air leakage in the home

    The good news is that all of these problems areas can be fixed! Many times, homeowners are tricked into purchasing new heating or cooling systems that can cost thousands of dollars. But it is quite common that a new system is not what the homeowner needs. What's worse is that the new system will not operate as efficiently as expected because the true source of inefficiencies in the home have not been addressed. It is common that homeowners can save more money in the long run by doing a little bit of investigative work on the front end. 

    So why wait until those energy bills start adding up? 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Aeroseal Featured on PBS's Hometime with Dean Johnson

This last weekend, Aeroseal duct sealing was featured on national television (again).

Check out this clip from Hometime for a great explanation of how the procedure works and how you could see improvements to indoor air quality, dust, consistent comfort and heating expenses.

I encourage everyone to ask your local heating and cooling contractor if they can provide this service. If they can't, then make sure to find out who can!
Don't let anyone tell you that hand sealing the duct system is "just as good" as sealing them from the inside. 

If you are in BARRON HEATING's service area, check out this page for more great information and how you can take advantage of this innovative opportunity:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Should I buy from a local contractor?

Need a reason to buy from your local HVAC or Home Performance contractor?

Here's a little lesson in economics...

credit AIB for the graphic:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What is in your home dust?

Have you ever noticed all of the “icky” debris from your vacuum when you empty the canister or change the bag?

  1. Have you ever broken your vacuum cleaner bag as you were disposing it or looked at canister of debris before dumping it? This should provide an accurate picture of what type of air the typical homeowner is breathing in their homes.
  2. Every home's duct work leaks! Every time your furnace runs more things are sucked into your duct work. Things like dust, pet hair, cooking grease, cigarette smoke, and other debris that will stay in your duct work – until they eventually break down and are released back into the air stream for you and your family to breathe.
  3. “Most homeowners simply have no idea of how much dust, dirt, and debris the duct system harbors, according to Brendan Reid, Founder of Comfort Institute and Senior Success Coach . Since the air ducts are out of sight they are often out of mind". As a reminder, about 50 percent of household dust is from dead skins cells which we constantly are shedding.
  4. Sealing your duct work not only improves indoor air quality by reducing dust and allergens, but can make you more comfortable in your home by reducing hot and cold spots, rooms, and floors in your house. We suggest using the Aeroseal process, but other forms of duct sealing can be effective.
  5. A few recommendations for breathing healthier air in your home are sealing your duct work before you purchase a new heating and cooling system, clean your duct work every 3-5 years, and have a good air filter that you change according to manufacturer's recommendations. This combination will help reduce household dust and keep the system running efficiently. 
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