Energy Efficient HVAC? It’s More Than Just A Box

Is your home energy efficient?

Sure, you’ve got the energy efficient appliances. You’ve got the energy efficient light bulbs. You’ve even got green ethernet for crying out loud. But what about the single largest energy-user in the house? Your HVAC system.

Even with the very best home construction and design — and even that fancy schmancy refrigerator — if a qualified HVAC contractor hasn’t been consulted with regard to the efficiency of your unit relative to the uniqueness of your home, you’re probably spinning your wheels… and your electricity meter.

So, how’d this happen? How’d we get to a place where windows and washing machines are more highly scrutinized than your home’s air conditioner?

The short story is this: The pioneers of energy efficiency came primarily from government-funded weatherization programs around four decades ago. Others began with solar water heaters — a result of the 1978 federal tax credit. And, then, of course, there were those with general knowledge of the subject, with roots in ecology and self-sufficiency.

Nowhere, you’ll notice, were HVAC experts ever introduced into the fold.

The earliest efforts at conserving energy were aimed at insulation and windows, which is fine, because leaky insulation or a house filled with single-pane windows is absolutely a recipe for disaster. But, still, the impact of an inefficient HVAC system was largely ignored.

In 1992, the Redskins won the Super Bowl, Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States, and “Aladdin” hit the silver screen. Also, in 1992, federal efficiency standards for furnaces, boilers and air conditioners were introduced — which, you know, was nice, except that with all of the emphasis on equipment efficiency, the much larger point was being ignored.

A home can have the most efficient equipment in world history, but if it’s poorly installed and/or your system is badly designed, it’s not going to matter. That bright, shiny new unit sitting outside cannot overcome ignorance and crappy workmanship.

And, that, ladies and gentleman brings us to the Achilles heel of home performance: HVAC design and installation quality remains — even after all this time — mediocre at best.

Buy a great TV? You’ve got a great TV. Buy a great microwave? Congrats on your great microwave. Buy a Trane XV20i Variable Speed air conditioner that can do just about everything short of teleport you to a beach chair complete with a Mai Tai waiting in the cupholder?

Sure hope your contractor knows what he’s doing.

Design and installation issues have a far greater impact on overall system efficiency than source equipment ratings. That SEER rating you’re so excited about? It’s theoretical. And it’s based on standard operating conditions. If isn’t sized correctly or if some knucklehead botches the installation, you can forget about it.

But here’s the thing: The HVAC industry is a competitive place. And it’s easier to sell high efficiency boxes than it is to sell high efficiency systems. That distinction has been lost within our marketplace — and it hasn’t been by accident.

The HVAC industry has become a place where shops consistently compete to simply underbid one another for a job, all the while casting aside the need for highly-skilled technicians — because highly-skilled technicians are expensive, you know.

Contractors who aspire to do things right — and who refuse to staff a workforce full of idiots — are penalized, while those willing to accept the bare minimum from their employees while swindling their customers are actually rewarded.

And, after all, what’s the incentive to do better when the current state of the industry isn’t forcing anyone to place value on precision, perfect design and quality workmanship?

At Air Dynamics, our incentive is our reputation within the community and a commitment to staying true to our word. Does that make us different? You bet it does. Has it long since put as at a disadvantage up against competitors who are willing to cut corners? In some ways, sure. 

But, our commitment to excellence has also allowed us to continue serving Northwest Arkansas for well over two decades by growing our business almost solely by word of mouth. While accepting mediocrity from a fleet of underqualified technicians may have allowed us to buy a few billboards, we’ve always believed that you can’t put a price tag on trust and integrity.

So, when it comes time to consider your home’s HVAC needs, we hope you’ll give us a call. We’ll take you from start to finish with a truly energy efficient system, installed by industry experts who take pride in delivering the highest level of planning and craftsmanship.

Give us a call at (479) 750-9939!

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