You understand that your car is made up of interacting components and systems – when one component fails, it affects the performance of the entire vehicle. Do you know that the same goes for your house?
High energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels and even premature deterioration of building materials can all be the result of a breakdown in the relationship between the systems in your house – the building envelope (shell), heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and you, the occupants.
If one system has a problem, it impacts the other systems’ ability to function properly. Treating the obvious symptom without knowing the real culprit behind it can actually make the problem worse or create new problems. The process of elimination approach just causes frustration as you try solution after solution – investing more time, money and energy – without resolution.
Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based on building science.
That’s exactly what BPI certified professionals and accredited contracting companies are trained to do. They conduct a comprehensive whole-home assessment to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best. Then we back it all up with our national quality assurance program.
Here’s how it works.
Most projects start with an interview with you, the homeowner, to find out what symptoms you’ve noticed and what, if anything, you’ve tried to fix those symptoms. An evaluation of your energy bills provides clues to areas that need improvement.
Next, your BPI certified professional will conduct a thorough walk-through – both indoors and out. The technician may use an infrared camera to get a visual on temperature differences in different areas, conduct a blower door test to depressurize the house and assess air leakage levels through the building envelope, and test for leakage in the duct work of forced-air HVAC systems. They will also perform other function and safety tests on HVAC equipment, including carbon monoxide levels and combustion appliance back-draft testing.
At the end of the comprehensive whole-home assessment, your home performance contractor will provide you with a scientific, objective view of the situation. They’ll be able to help you prioritize repairs in order – from must-do to nice-to-do – so you can solve the biggest problems without making smaller problems worse. They should also be able to guide you regarding which fixes are suitable for your particular do-it-yourself (DIY) skill level, and which will require expert help – either from the BPI accredited contracting company who performed the assessment or from another equally qualified, trained source.
Once the improvement work is completed, your BPI contractor will conduct a second whole-home assessment that follows all the same steps as the first. This makes sure that all the corrections work, and the desired performance levels have been achieved. The project is only considered complete when you agree that the job has been done right.
BPI accredited contracting companies must participate in our quality assurance program, so you know you’ll get high-quality work. We take it seriously. Unresolved non-compliance can result in delisting.
Your BPI contractor will document every test result and every improvement installed in your home, and the documentation comes to us. We audit each contractor’s files and conduct random inspections to ensure that every project complies with our stringent standards.
If you are dissatisfied with the work done by your BPI accredited contractor, the contracting company’s own conflict resolution protocol is the first step. Most of the time, it involves simply fixing the problem at no extra cost.