Owens Corning Launches AirCare Contractor Program
Owens Corning sources report that the company is launching the AirCare ™ Contractor Program ™, a turnkey offering that helps contractors combine consulting expertise with practical service solutions to support home comfort, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Field tested by a cohort of leading contractors, the AirCare ™ Contractor Program provides a whole-home systems approach to help HVAC equipment realize its full potential for the 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 system components can significantly reduce comfort and energy efficiency. Pipework is a good example of invisible problems that can threaten system performance. Energy Star data reports that an average home loses up to 30 percent of the air moving through the duct system due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts1. Given this data, even a new, highly efficient unit could deliver only 70 to 80 percent of its expected performance. This overlooked situation means that equipment is often falsely targeted by an indoor environmental problem.
In addition to ductwork, insufficient insulation can also reduce comfort and efficiency. Data shows that about 90% of US homes are under-insulated.2 The AirCare ™ Contractor Program includes a process to evaluate a home’s ductwork, assess insulation levels and provide a prescriptive approach to addressing comfort issues. The consultative model combines inspection data with the expertise of contractors to develop a strategy that can propose narrowing, reclosing or replacing a home’s channel; or adding insulation. This holistic approach ensures that equipment is not inappropriately targeted as the source of a problem and that all components in the home’s energy infrastructure deliver their full comfort potential. The program can help reduce chargebacks and bolster a contractor’s reputation as the indoor environmental expert.
Contractor engagement – from cohort pilot to strategic partnerships
A one-year contractor cohort piloted pipe inspection and retrofit services, focusing on selected regions, including Florida, Texas and California. Trial 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 prevent energy wastage. From a contractor perspective, the program also provided opportunities to increase sales through additional services such as isolation and channel replacement.
During the pilot phase, Owens Corning researched and vetted strategic partners serving different segments of the residential HVAC market – for example, certification programs – to assess whole-home energy performance. Collaboration with a composite network of official partners representing elite contractors complements the AirCare ™ Contractor Program’s focus on an integrated approach to whole-home comfort.
Regarding the program’s official rollout and the addition of strategic partners, program leader Jessica Bazzi noted that a home’s ductwork essentially functions as the infrastructure that brings conditioned air to every room in the home. “If the highways – the channels – through which the air passes are not in good working order, the customer will not get the optimum benefits from high-performing, well-dimensioned and expertly installed equipment,” she said. “As growth remains robust in the home improvement industry, contractors are going beyond exterior and aesthetic improvements to target the less visible areas of a home that contribute to comfort and energy efficiency. Optimizing pipework can generate revenue for contractors while contributing to a more comfortable indoor climate, improving indoor air quality and supporting energy efficiency. “
As part of a whole-house approach to HVAC, ductwork provides 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