Contractor Strategies

Overview

Who do you call when the very foundation of your home starts to break down around you? What do you do when your furnace is out-of-date and energy consumption is through the roof? Without any personal experience or a desire to climb around in the darkest, dirtiest corners of your home, you'll have to interview some contractors to get the job done. You'll have to ask the right questions to find the right contractor for the job.

Details

The components of your home work together, actively affecting the quality of your home. For instance, air sealing your walls and ceilings helps to retain hot or cold air to save money on heating and cooling. However, if you seal too tightly without proper ventilation, the air quality in your home may become worse. This may cause safety issues when it comes to oil and gas appliances. A qualified contractor will understand how the systems in your home can work together, and it shows in quality of work and future cost-savings.

Finding a good home contractor can be intimidating: check out our Tips & Tricks and prepare a list of questions to ask your potential contractors, or continue reading to learn how the Building Performance Institute makes it easier to select qualified contractors. 

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI Accredited Contracting Companies have made a full commitment to home performance and energy efficiency retrofits and must meet stringent requirements. They are held to BPI’s nationwide third-party Quality Assurance Program. BPI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is the nation’s premier credentialing body in the energy efficiency retrofit industry. BPI Accredited Contractor companies must:

  • Employ at least one BPI certified Building Analyst and one certified specialist (in building envelope, heating or air conditioners and heat pump designations).
  • Allow BPI to maintain proof of registration, licensing, bonding and insurance.
  • Follow BPI guidelines on training, equipment, workplace practices and dispute resolution.
  • Participate fully in BPI’s Quality Assurance Program.

BPI Accreditation is often required for contractors participating in government and utility energy efficiency incentive programs. As a result, BPI certified Contractors are concentrated in specific geographic areas of the country. However, the number of Accredited Contractors is growing in other regions every day. Whenever possible, we encourage you to find and work with companies that are BPI Accredited or at least employ BPI Certified Professionals.

BPI Certified Professional

BPI-certified Professionals are individuals who have proven their knowledge and skills through written and hands-on exams in their area of expertise. BPI Certification is one of the most valued indicators in the home energy efficiency industry. There are several types of BPI Certifications for different types of employees and contractors.

  • Building Performance Analyst: Energy auditors and contractors with this certification are trained for deep energy retrofit work. They examine overall home performance and safety risks such as mold and carbon monoxide.
  • Envelope Professional: These specialized contractors improve your home’s “envelope” (the roof, walls, and floors that separate the outside from the inside). These measures include insulation and air sealing.
  • Heating Professional: These contractors specialize in furnace installation. They understand a home’s heating system, including ducts, insulation and air sealing. They are trained to maximize energy efficiency and catch any safety hazards.
  • A/C or Heat Pump Professional: These contractors specialize in air conditioner and heat pump installation. They’re trained to think about your overall house and how those systems fit into it rather than just replacing your old equipment. 

When you’re working with a company that has BPI Certified Professionals, make sure that at least one of those employees is working on your project at all times; it’s not enough to simply have one on staff.


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