An estimated 50 percent of new heating and air conditioning installations result in little or no energy saved. Schebler is changing that with the new HVAC System Adjustment & Verified Efficiency (SAVE) program.
HVAC SAVE is a regional Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor training and certification initiative based on internationally renowned National Comfort Institute (NCI) principles. This program is sponsored by Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy and MidAmerican Energy.
SAVE ensures contractors installing high efficiency equipment are trained to test the static pressure of the duct system. Similar to a blood pressure check, static pressure is a key vital sign of the health of an HVAC system and can identify leaks and blockages that keep the system from running at peak capacity on efficiency.
“Equipment manufacturers want to see half-an-inch (.50” w.c) static pressure external to the equipment but the U.S. average is (.82” w.c.),” said Kevin Lesthaeghe, Director of HVAC for Schebler Heating and Air. “That is substantially higher than it should be and your equipment has to work harder.”
Some common causes of high static pressure are leaks in ductwork, installing the wrong filter rack for the system or buying a filter that is too efficient, making the system work harder to pump air through.
“One of the biggest culprits right now is high efficiency filters,” Lesthaeghe said. He added that new equipment with variable speed blowers will continue to ramp up until the required airflow is achieved.
In Iowa, starting in 2014, Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy will require that HVAC equipment eligible for rebates be installed by an HVAC SAVE-certified contractor.