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.
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.
Source: ENERGY STAR
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.
Give us a call at 770-253-2665 or visit us online for more answers to the above, and many other questions!
Preventive maintenance is critical to a well functioning HVAC units.
Preventative Maintenance offers many benefits such as:
- Increasing the life span of the HVAC unit.
- Lowering the cooling and heating bills.
- Cleaning the interior air creating a comfortable environment for the building occupants.
Replacing HVAC filters is critical to clean air because the air filters clean out air pollutants such as molds, skin cells, and allergens. It is important to visually inspect HVAC filters ever 1 to 6 months to make sure the filters are not blocked.
A little bit of techie talk made simple:
ASHRAE standard is used to rate HVAC filters capacity to filter out air borne pollutants, the ASHRAE standard assigns MERV rating to filters based on their efficiency. The higher the MERV rating the more efficient the filter is. Generally when you want to buy a filter, it is best to get a filter with a MERV rating of 11 +.
Progressive Heating and Air offers Preventive Maintenance Service Agreements for all brands of rooftops units, compressors, air-handlers, cooling towers, heat pumps, variable speed drives, controls and accessories.
Each agreement is tailored to meet the budget and operating needs of your facility and can include both preventive maintenance to keep your equipment running in peak condition and predictive maintenance services to identify potential problems before costly breakdowns occur.
It will help you:
- Maintain the efficiency and reliability of all equipment
- Minimize downtime, repair bills, and loss of use
- Ensure continuous care with our after hours call center staffed with trusted employees
Our planned maintenance options include:
- Inspection and reports
- Inspection with seasonal adjustments and preventive maintenance
- Full maintenance, including preventive maintenance plus service calls
- Predictive maintenance, including eddy current test, combustion analysis, and vibration analysis
- 24/7 monitoring
- Maintenance of cooling towers, compressors, air handlers, rooftop units, air-side distribution equipment, and controls.
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.
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 email@example.com or call us at 770-253-2665.
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.
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 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
We hope you have found our series on indoor air quality useful. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to get an answer to you in a timely manner.
We firmly believe that knowledge is power, and one can never be too careful about the quality of the air you are putting in your body!
In March, we will give you guys a lot of information on what kind of Progressive Heating and Air really is. And remember – the best compliment you can give us is to refer us to your friends and family.