Sources from Owens Corning report the company is launching the AirCare™ Contractor Program™, a turn-key offering that helps contractors blend consultative expertise with practical service solutions to support in-home comfort, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Tested in the field by a cohort of leading contractors, AirCare™ Contractor Program brings a whole-house, system approach to help HVAC equipment deliver its full potential to the in-home environment.
Ductwork – a hidden opportunity to reduce energy loss and improve performance
While high-efficiency HVAC equipment is essential to a home’s comfort system, less visible components of the system can significantly reduce comfort and energy efficiency. Ductwork is a prime example of out-of-sight problems that can threaten the system’s performance. Energy Star data reports an average home loses up to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts1. Considering this data, even a new, high-efficiency unit might deliver only 70 to 80 percent of expected performance. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation means that equipment is often erroneously targeted as the source of a problem with the indoor environment.
Beyond ductwork, inadequate levels of insulation can also diminish comfort and reduce efficiency. Data shows that roughly 90% of U.S. homes are under-insulated.2 The AirCare™ Contractor Program includes a process to evaluate a home’s ductwork, assess insulation levels, and bring a prescriptive approach to addressing comfort problems. The consultative model blends inspection data with contractor expertise to inform a strategy that may suggest resizing, resealing or replacing a home’s ductwork; or adding insulation. This holistic approach ensures that equipment is not improperly targeted as the source of a problem and that all of the components in the home’s energy infrastructure are delivering their full comfort potential. The program can help reduce callbacks and boost a contractor’s reputation as the go-to expert for the indoor environment.
Contractor engagement – from cohort pilot to strategic partnerships
A year-long contractor cohort piloted the duct inspection and retrofit services, focusing on select regions including Florida, Texas and California. Pilot cohort members found that homeowners were interested in how an integrated system could improve the consistency of comfort in every room of their home and avoid wasted energy. From a contractor perspective, the program also introduced opportunities to boost revenue through add-on services such as insulation and duct replacement.
Throughout the pilot phase, Owens Corning researched and vetted strategic partners serving distinct segments of the residential HVAC market – for example, certification programs – to assess whole house energy performance. Collaboration with a curated network of official partners representing elite contractors complements the AirCare™ Contractor Program’s focus on an integrated approach to whole-house comfort.
Remarking on the program’s official rollout and the addition of strategic partners, Program Lead Jessica Bazzi noted that a home’s ductwork essentially functions as the infrastructure delivering conditioned air to every room in the house. “If the highways – the ducts – the air travels through are not in good condition, the customer will not derive the optimal benefits of high-performing, properly sized and expertly installed equipment,” she said. “As growth remains robust in the residential home improvement sector, contractors are moving beyond exterior and aesthetic improvements to target the less visible parts of a home that contribute to comfort and energy efficiency. Optimizing ductwork can generate contractor revenue while contributing to a more comfortable indoor environment, improving the quality of indoor air, and supporting energy efficiencies.”
As part of a whole-house approach to HVAC, ductwork offers additional benefits ranging from supporting indoor air quality to reducing noise and dust levels in the home. Contractors can learn more by visiting owenscorning.com/retrofit-contractor.
2 North American Insulation Manufacturer’s Association (NAIMA). (2015). Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ninety-percent-of-us-homes-are-under-insulated