Progressive Heating and Air Wins NCI’s 2018 Contractor of the Year Award

LOCAL HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING COMPANY WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Progressive Heating and Air Conditioning of Newnan, GA was recently named Large Contractor of the Year by National Comfort Institute, Inc. (NCI) during their 2018 annual conference in Austin, TX. The High-Performance HVAC Summit 2018, was has held from March 4-6th. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in Performance-Based Contracting*, quality workmanship, and dedication to customer service. Companies in this award category achieve more than $4 million in sales annually.

NCI has two other Contractor of the Year categories that break out as follows:

  • Small – achieve under $1.5 million in sales annually
  • Medium– achieves between $1.6 million and $3.9 million in sales.

Progressive Heating and Air Conditioning is a contracting firm serving residential and commercial HVAC customers in and around the Newnan, Georgia area. Company Owner Greg Wallace says Progressive has 27 employees and fields 17 installation and service vehicles.

 

The 24-year-old company has experienced steady growth, even during the recent economic downturns faced in the U.S. in general and in Georgia in particular.

 

Wallace attributes the growth and success to a company-wide commitment to training and staying on the cutting edge. “If you want to serve your customers best, you must have training,” he says. He adds that Performance-Based Contracting™, as taught by NCI, is the key. “As the trainers at NCI always say, ‘if you don’t measure, you’re just guessing.’”

 

 

 

He adds, “Consumers deserve to receive the comfort and efficiency they are promised and pay for. What better way to provide that than through measured and verifiable proof. That is what NCI teaches. And that is what we practice.”

 

Rob Falke, president of NCI, presented Progressive’s award during the closing banquet of the High-Performance HVAC Summit. He explained that Greg Wallace and his team had “not only earned 75 NCI certifications, but they also strive to keep those certifications current. They are unified in their goal of continuous improvement and they share a common mission of providing customers the best service in the business.”

 

NCI selects its Contractors of the Year based on some very well-defined criteria:

  • The company must be in the process or already completed implementing Performance-Based testing as prescribed by the National Comfort Institute
  • The company must have in place or be in the process of having in place a Performance-Based business culture
  • The company must have a strong service department and must sell and maintain service agreements
  • As part of the Home Performance approach, the company must target HVAC system renovation sales in addition to equipment replacement sales
  • Training must be part of the company culture.

So why is this important to consumers? Why should they choose an NCI-certified contractor like Progressive Heating over other contracting firms? For the same reasons they choose:

  • A certified public accountant
  • A certified realtor
  • An AMA-certified doctor
  • A bar-certified lawyer.

In these professions, the designations come to people who have studied, tested, and achieved a level of competence that resulted in receiving a professional certification.

 

NCI-certified contractors have attended classes, learned how to use specialized tools and instruments, and are kept constantly up-to-date on the latest diagnostic and repair skills. An NCI-certified technician has passed a recognized testing process which validates his or her understanding of the technology and procedures used in this field. In addition, NCI monitors their certified contractors and requires recertification every two years.

 

THE NATIONAL COMFORT INSTITUTE (NCI) is the nation’s premier Performance-Based training, certification, and membership organization focused on helping heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical contractors to grow their businesses and become more profitable. To date, the organization has trained and certified more than 25,000 industry professionals in a variety of disciplines including system diagnostics and design, indoor air quality, air balancing, carbon monoxide analysis, and combustion efficiency. To learn more, please visit the NCI website at http://www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com.

 

*NCI coined the phrase “Performance-Based Contracting™”, a unique approach to managing a contracting business through accountability and measurable results. During the past two decades, NCI has trained and certified more than 25,000 HVAC professionals.


Save $$

As the weather turns chilly, improve your home’s comfort, and save energy and money all while doing a good thing for the environment. By using energy efficiently at home, you not only lower your energy bills, but prevent air pollution too. Here are ways to save, offered by the ENERGY STAR program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

1. Know the Facts – The average family spends $1,500 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, installed alongside a well-sealed duct system, can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs.
2. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system regularly. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.
3. Bundle Up – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. When heat escapes, your system must work harder and you use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors — and
can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation, while paying special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.
4. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent, causing your equipment to work harder than necessary to keep you comfortable. Ask your HVAC contractor about improving your ducts.
5. Don’t Oversize – When replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home. An oversized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct sizing will ensure that your equipment works efficiently. Make sure your HVAC contractor uses Manual J or an equivalent sizing tool to determine what’s right for your home.
6. Consult a Professional – Find an experienced, licensed contractor before embarking on any heating and cooling overhaul. Visit http://www.natex.orq to find a contractor whose technicians are certified by NATE (North American Technician Excellence), the leading industry-supported testing and certification program.
7. Shop Smart – If your heating equipment has not been regularly maintained and is 15 years or older, it’s probably time for a more efficient replacement. Ask for an ENERGY STAR when buying the following equipment:

  • Furnaces – Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that are 15 percent more efficient than standard models.
  • Boilers – An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be seven percent more energy-efficient.
  • Heat Pumps – When installed in a home with a well-sealed envelope, heat pumps provide great value and comfort for your energy dollar. An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30 percent more efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as $400 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20 percent more efficient.
  • Programmable Thermostats – Regulate your home’s temperature with four programmable settings and you can save about $100 annually on your energy bills.

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Source: ENERGY STAR


Home Dry As A Bone?

Our bodies need moisture in the air to feel comfortable, help prevent illness and avoid those annoying static-electricity shocks. If dry household air is a discomfort you would like to live without, it may be time for a humidifier in your home.

Dry indoor air makes it super difficult to feel comfortable, and too easy to feel irritable, especially when you are suffering physical symptoms caused by dry air – like sore throat, cracked skin and a dry nose. Ways a whole house humidifier can help you:

  • They maintain 30-55% humidity throughout your entire home, which is optimal
  • May find relief from the above symptoms
  • Protects objects in your home from drying out, cracking, peeling, shrinking and splitting
  • Increases humidity in your home by providing a layer of moisture which protects against static electricity
  • The flu and other viruses thrive in low humidity.

Operating a whole house humidifier is much like operating the central cooling and heating systems. Humidifiers and central cooling/heating use the same air ducts. Where a thermostat is used to control the temperature, a humidistat is adjusted to control humidity levels. Some thermostats are capable of controlling both. Humidifiers are attached to the ductwork, and may use airflow from the heating/AC system to add moisture.

For questions or more information – visit us online or call us at 770-253-2665. We are happy to help!


Is Your Home Air TOO DRY?

One major problem we face in the South – is dry air during the winter time. An easy way to see if this affects you is static electricity. Adding moisture to your home helps to raise your indoor humidity level, which can fall dramatically in the wintertime as a result of constant heating. By restoring an idea humidity to 45-50% [the level recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency], your indoor environment may feel warmer, lessening the need to crank up the heat, and any moisture-senstive furnishings in your home will be better protected from damage.

Think about how much HOTTER it feels in the summer when humidity is high. Sounds logical, right?

Some of the physical effects of dry air includes dry skin, sore throat, bloody nose, cracked lips, respiratory irritation – even colds, flus and sinus infections. According to the National Institute of Health, increasing the humidity in your home will help moisturize your nasal and throat passages so you can breathe better and clearer.

static-electricity

Give us a call at 770-253-2665 or visit us online for more answers to the above, and many other questions!


Mother Nature CAN Work for You

You may have noticed that some rooms will occasionally be hotter or cooler than others. Your upstairs bedroom may take longer to cool in the summer, or the kitchen may be chillier in the winter.

Don’t worry! There may not be anything wrong with your system. If your home is multi-level, you will naturally experience the effect of warm air rising to the upper level and cooler air falling to the lower. In addition, solar gain can cause temperatures to rise in certain rooms. This is definitely the case in rooms with west-facing windows during the late afternoon. Forces of nature are not the only factors that will raise your home’s indoor temperature. Cooking and showering will cause the humidity of your home to increase. Even without a raise in temperature, higher levels of humidity can cause you to feel warmer and uncomfortable.

While the laws of nature (and the law of teenagers taking long showers) may be out of your control, you can use your home’s ventilation system to improve the situation. By adjusting or closing registers that are too cool in summer or too warm in the winter, you can divert conditioned air to rooms where you need it the most. By making the laws of nature work for you, you should be able to achieve even, comfortable temperatures in every room of your home. If that does not do the trick, there may be some ventilation issues at play that deserve a closer look.

To schedule an appointment for our NATE certified service technician to come out, click here and get 10% off!

uneven-temperatures-service


A Healthy Home System

The EPA estimates indoor air quality in most homes is five to ten times worse than outdoor air quality – and in some cases is over 100 times worse! Recent advancements in home efficiency have inadvertently made the problem worse. As a result, incidents of asthma have increased by 61% since 1982!

Whole House Filtration

The whole house filtration part of the Field Controls IAQ system traps particles as small as one micron in diameter, including pollen, dust and pet dander. Its five-inch-deep MERV 11 filter traps up to 100 times more contaminants than traditional filters before losing its effectiveness, and a single unit can replace multiple one-inch register filters.

Whole House UV Purification

UV radiation technology can improve air quality by effectively neutralizing bacteria and viruses, reducing allergy and asthma symptoms triggered by biofilm that can accumulate on your AC coil. The radiation is kept walled off within your AC unit, rendering it 100% harmless to your family while being extremely effective against mold, viruses and bacteria. Remember, a clean AC coil will help keep your air conditioner working as efficiently as possible!

Whole House Fresh Air Ventilation

The bread and butter of the whole Field Controls system is the house fresh air ventilation which allows your HVAC system to automatically deliver fresh air through your whole house, even during the off season. The whole house fresh air ventilation system provides fresh air exchange designed to meet residential standards and support your family’s health while creating uniform temperatures and humidity levels throughout your home. Best of all, year round operation enhances the effectiveness of the whole house filtration and air purification while providing fresh air as needed.


Ways To Control IAQ

The easiest way to improve your home’s air quality in the winter is by: eliminate, isolate and ventilate.

By eliminating the pollutants, you get rid of as many unnecessary chemicals and other pollutants in your home as possible. Almost everything in your home some kind of chemical [nail polish, perfumes, etc.]. While the levels are generally not high enough to cause you to worry, they can irritate certain allergy and asthma symptoms.

The best way to get rid of harmful chemicals is to figure out what you have and what can be swapped a healthier version of the same product. Many household cleaners come in low chemical varieties that can be used to improve your indoor air quality. If you smoke, do so outside. Smoke is the leading cause of poor indoor air quality in many homes.

Isolating pollutants you can’t get rid of and store out of reach of children. I can be downright impossible to eliminate all of the harmful chemicals in your home. The ones you can’t eliminate, isolate. Keep kitchen chemicals locked up under the sink until you need them, store things like paint and fertilizer in the garage by an open window, and keep anything else as out of the way as possible.

Another important step is to have your gas appliances checked out during the winter so you can make sure they’ll run safely at all times.

Ventilate your home as much as possible to improve air flow and reduce moisture and pollutants. The best way to improve your home’s indoor air quality is to make sure your home is well ventilated. Make sure you have a good ventilation system in place. A well-balanced whole house ventilation system can substantially improve your indoor air quality without compromising your heating efficiency.

Questions?? Email us at news@progressiveac.com or call us at 770-253-2665.


What Are The Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants?

In Georgia, people may not think about air quality as much during the winter due to the lack of outdoor air pollutants…but what bout inside? Have you ever thought about how dry and scratchy the air is inside when it’s cold outside? Dry air can have several problems including drying out your wood floors and furniture as well as making it difficult to breathe, especially for people with allergies and asthma. Being indoors with almost no ventilation can cause many issues. From spring to summer, you can keep windows open to maintain good ventilation, and you stay outside a lot more. During the winter, windows stay shut to keep the cold air out, and you stay inside most of the day.

The most common indoor air pollutants include:

Biological pollutants [pet dander, mites, mold, etc.] are harmful because people can be allergic to just one or several of them – and being inside with them makes everything worse.

Dust can be easily prevented by a strong air filter.

Combustion gases [like those that come from a gas furnace or stove] are normally vented harmlessly outside but can be deadly if they leak into your home.

Tobacco smoke can get inside even if you smoke outside, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.

Pesticides and chemicals can come from all over the place. Fumes from spray for bugs over the summer, air fresheners and cleaning products can contribute to your indoor air quality issues.

Some things you can do to improve your indoor air quality in the winter:

  • Make sure your filters are fresh and clean. Air filters are designed to trap indoor air pollutants before they can escape into your air. They fill up much faster in the winter. Make sure to replace them monthly.
  • If your air is pretty dry inside, check into a humidifier.

Call us at 770-253-2665 for more information, or visit out website at http://www.progressiveac.com.


Heating FAQ, Part 1: Filters

This is part one of our series on heat. We will ask an answer several commonly asked questions, and feel free to ask some in our comment section as well!

Does my furnace have a filter?

– That depends on what type of furnace you have….but in Georgia, it is safe to say you do. If you live in another area [mainly colder places], you may have a boiler/radiator…so check with your local HVAC company to see what you have.

How often do I need to change my furnace filter?

– There is no one answer to this question. It depends on the type of filter your system has, whether you have pets, if anyone in your home has allergies, etc. If you use disposable 1″ filters, once a month is a safe answer – but can vary up to three months in some circumstances. If you have a permanent, electrostatic filter, it needs to be cleaned roughly once a month to every three months as well. If you have a five or six inch filter, those can last from three to six months, depending on the above factors.

Filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to change, so there is really little reason to wait. If you don’t change or clean your filter often enough, the filter can get clogged with dust and other airborne particles, forcing your furnace to work harder to maintain air flow. This will reduce your furnace’s efficiency and can cause damage.

Why do furnace filters exist?

– Furnace manufacturers put fiberglass filters in their furnaces to remove airborne particles that might damage the fan and the heating coil. Particle buildup can also decrease the efficiency of your furnace, as the furnace has to work harder to pull air through the intake. More expensive filters can also improve the air quality in your house by removing pollen, bacteria and mold spores from the air. This is especially important if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies.

Do I have to use a filter that is manufactured by the same company that makes my furnace?

– You should be able to buy your filter anywhere that sells the appropriate size. Some of the thicker and odd size furnaces may need to be ordered from your HVAC company. If all else fails, always revert back to the documentation that came with your system just in case.

You can find more questions and answers at our website, and we always update with helpful hints on Facebook. Connect with us!


Whole House Energy Audit

DUCT BLASTER

Air duct leakage can increase heating and cooling costs over 30%. The Duct Blaster is a device that uses pressure testing to find the amount and location of air leakage in a duct system. In order to perform the test, the Duct Blaster fan is connected to the duct system at the air handler, or a return grille. After temporarily sealing all remaining registers and grilles, the Duct Blaster fan is turned on to force air through all holes and cracks in the ductwork. After the entire process is complete, estimates of efficiency losses from duct leakage can be made from the leakage measurements. This will include air that is leaking outside of the building [could be the attic or crawl space for example]. Most of us would not intentionally condition our attic or crawl space, right? We will pressurize the house to the same level as the ducts with the Blower Door. At that point, the Duct Blaster brings the ducts up to the required pressure. None of the air will leak out of the house since it’s at the same pressure as the ducts. In a tight air distribution system, the leakage to the outside will be five percent or less of the square footage of the house. Most new installations start at about fifteen to twenty percent, and go downhill from there. If this is true for your home, a third of your heating and cooling bills could be a direct result of duct leakage. As you can see, when the recommended repairs are made, the result is tremendous energy and financial savings.

BLOWER DOOR TESTING

The Blower Door is a whole house testing system which indirectly measures duct leakage by pressurizing the entire house to a standard testing pressure. This is done with all of the home’s doors and windows closed. By comparing the whole house test before and after all registers are temporarily sealed, the Blower Door provides you with an estimate of duct leakage to the outside, estimate natural infiltration rates and gauge efficiency losses due to home air leakage by certifying construction integrity.  With the Blower Door running, duct leaks can be pinpointed by using a hand-held smoke puffer, or a leak detection tool called a pressure pan. In addition to diagnosing duct leakage problems, the Blower Door can identify building improvements that will reduce energy use and increase comfort.

THERMAL IMAGING

Thermal imaging is one of the most effective procedures to diagnose a structure’s thermal performance and capabilities. Thermal imaging identifies temperature variations of a building’s surface. This reveals many problems with the energy conservation that are directly related to the structure of your home. Problems in your home’s structure [which includes air leakage and moisture content, which leads to mold growth] can be found through thermal imaging. This will also show areas of missing, non-existent insulation in walls and ceilings.

IN-HOME ENERGY AUDIT

Knowing the energy use of one’s home can save money and give you peace of mind. An audit consists of a visual inspection of the home and appliances – blower door testing, duct blaster, and thermal imaging are included. We will analyze the energy efficiency and make recommendations to improve energy consumption. After analyzing the energy audit, we make recommendations on how to put as many of our suggestions into practice as possible. Schedule an appointment online today – or call us with any questions at 770-253-2665