Monday, April 30, 2007

Guerilla Customer Service

"If your customer has a bad experience, they'll tell ten others. If they have a good experience, they'll tell one other."

Today's society is the weakest at customer service. Whether it's the age of the worker or the lack of training, customer service is what separates the competition (it also allows one to charge a premium for the satisfaction delivered.)

Today's opportunity was with a disgruntled customer, not satisfied with the weatherization job. The little things (a small paint chip, a piece of existing insulation hanging, air penetrating under an existing door) rolled into one large complaint. The client was just not happy after the sale with the follow through.

HZG listened (a crucial step) and then took the blame for not being more thorough. The customer was taken aback by the apology. I then explained that we want overly satisfied clients, for we count on the referral. We scheduled for my crew to go out and address her concerns. She asked "So how much more will this cost." Again, she was taken aback that I said "no charge", for she wasn't happy with the original service.

Hopefully we'll get her issues happily resolved. We sleep well at night knowing that we try are best (and 99% of the time are successful.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

ACI in Review; Some Stupid Chatter Amongst Brilliance

All of the conferences' topics were not excellent; there was even an example of "just plain stupid".

There were 2 sessions that touched on a topic. One was excellent; one was pathetic. The first one had a great comment - "The difference between a pond and a basement is the drainage at the bottom." How true.

The other session had a comment stating "We try to get the basement as dry as possible by routing the water through it to a drain." Through it to a drain. Exposed. To a drain in the basement floor. Exposed.


Sometimes conferences can expose that "maybe we aren't as dumb as we thought."

Friday, April 27, 2007

ACI in Review; Green Healthy Housing

One of the more enjoyable courses was on "Is green housing healthier housing." It involved Dennis Creech from Earth Craft Homes, Attorney Tom Neltner as well as a gentleman from the EPA named Eric "Damned if I know his last name." While we are getting closer to building and weatherizing healthier homes, there is no consensus on what a green healthy home is.

A study was done using 5 organizations; LEED for Homes, NAHB Green Home Building Guidelines, Green Communities, ALA Health House and Energy Star Indoor Air Package. The categories rated were: Keep it Dry, Keep it Clean, Keep it Ventilated, Keep it Safe, Keep it Free of Contaminants, Keep it Pest Free and Keep it Well Maintained.

Across the board, no program passed on Keep it Safe. All passed on Keep it Well Maintained. ALA Health Homes passed on 6 of 7 while the next closest was Energy Star at 4.75 out of 7.

The gentleman from the EPA was very black and white - "it is what it is." The Energy Star program ( goes through more research than the others, however this makes some items slow to change. Indoor Air Quality is the main focus of the Air Package program.

Good stuff...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back from ACI; Training "Nuggets"

It's good to be back from the wonderful world of Affordable Comfort. As usual, each day's classes offered numerous "nuggets" (aka - things to remember). Over the next few days, I'll be sharing some of these nuggets with you - although some of you may already know them.

One of the topics covered crawl spaces and whether to vent or not to vent. HZG has his own thoughts on this; however it was interesting to hear others' opinions. One aspect of the session that I took as a nugget - due to the fact that I had not thought of it within my daily realm - was other areas climates.

A zone map was shown showing different treatments for different climates. HZG is in climate 5, which is entirely different from the others. It interesting to think of a climate that has a 95% constant RH - and how these weatherization professionals address their issues.

So while the course was on venting, the nugget was on regional issues. What works in my market would definitely not work in others...

Note: Thanks Allison for your comment - the response has been posted.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Continual Learning Process

Beginning tomorrow, HZG will be away attempting to further his knowledge of Weatherization. Tomorrow is the start of the Affordable Comfort Conference, this year in Cleveland.

In order for anyone or company to continue to grow, it is vital that we continue to learn. Every year, there is a new "nugget" to be had - just when you think you've got it - something changes in the industry to either give you a new perspective or completely change the way you think.

At the Affordable Comfort Conference, there are 3 classes that you can take in a given day (out of 50 or so choices.) Each year, we develop a new way of doing something. Upon my return, I'll share any nuggets that I receive with you - so we can learn together.

When the Ohio Department of Development makes this their main conference to sponsor - you know you will come out smarter (in theory) than when you went in.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Flower Beds and Drainage

It's Spring, and HZG wants to tell you - don't make your flower beds stupidly high!

There are typically 2 courses of block above grade that can let water into your basement. Adding improper drainage with flower beds just adds to the likelihood of water penetration.

Too often landscapers (yes, pro landscapers) pile on the dirt and mulch, rising up against the foundation. In the industry, water that runs down your wall is considered a raintower if there are not deflections away from the foundation. If the flower bed is too high or angle improperly, the water will be forced against the wall. This hydrostatic pressure can force the water into your basement, affecting the air quality.

Every 2-3 years, HZG digs back in the beds, wire brushes and then adds an above grade block sealant to aid in the elimination of water penetration.

So, don't be dumb - you've been told.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Handy Dandy Foam Guns

When using the cans of foam, you will notice that you will...

1) Go through many cans while plugging holes

2) Get the same size foam blurt, regardless of need

3) Waste what's left in the last can

If you are planning on using quite a bit of foam (attics, crawl spaces, band joists), invest in a $45 foam gun so that you can use larger cans, control the size of the foam blurt and not have to waste a can. Once you are done with the foam, you can leave the can on the gun.

Pass the gun from family to family to get the best value - and buy the $3 cleaner to clean the gun after 7-8 cans.

The ability to control the foam is the best feature...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bowed Basement Wall Solution

There are many solutions to fixing a bowed basement wall. The greater the bow, the greater the expense to repair.

If a home has a bowed wall that is no more than 2" difference when putting a level to it - steel I-beams are a good solution. There are many other ways of stopping the wall from moving, however the I-beam is true AND long term tested. The other ways, such as the epoxied band and the block pilaster - can work - but each has their drawbacks.

The I-beam method involves breaking up the floor along the wall (which you'd have to do anyway to put in an interior waterproofing system to relieve the pressure). The I-beam is anchored to the footer below the floor and attach to the floor joist above. It is then re-cemented into place (once the waterproofing system is in place). This method only allows the wall to move if the HOUSE moves too. Highly unlikely.

A reputable company can install an I-beam for under $200 per beam - with beams spread out every 4'. While an I-beam is not the prettiest, it can be buried under a finished basement stud build out.

Rebuilding a wall is much more expensive - about $230 per linear foot. I-beams are a nice solution.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Safety and Trenches - Help or Sacrifice Burying?

If you are a homeowner and wish to dig a hole around your home's foundation, regardless of size - please...please...please...don't. Recently in the Cleveland area a man was crushed by a cave-in - and he was supposedly a "trained" professional.

Trenches and ditches should only be dug by professionals when they are to exceed 3' in depth. Why? Very few people have died from a broken leg. Trenches that cave in have a tremendous force - enough to snap bones and crush the human body. There is no such thing a safe hole - earth can move at any time.

A seasoned professional, when excavating to the footer (7' - 8' in depth), will shelve the banks so that if one level caves in there will not be a large amount of earth falling. If the size of the lot dictates a tighter hole without shelving, a seasoned pro will drive I-beams into the earth and place 1" plywood behind it - so that in the event of a cave in, the earth is caught by the plywood and I-beams.

The only time that you should get into a trench such as this is if it is securely braced - or you are luring your mother-in-law...just kidding...kind of...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Insulation Installer Idiocy

Today's insulation call was one to address the winter ice dams. The client has always had massive icicles hanging from her gutters. As you may have read in a previous blog, ice dams can be caused by a lack of insulation or improper attic venting at the soffit. This attic had both...

Upon climbing up into the attic and noticing the well over 3" of fiberglass, HZG scurried to the soffit area to see what was there... How about a little bit of nothing. There was a soffit vent, however it was covered with well over 2" of fiberglass. Just enough to create damage. There was also zero ventilation in the attic anywhere else. So the minimal ventilation was covered by minimal insulation. Perfect.

Our recommendation to this homeowner is to install baffles, allowing the soffits to breath and then adding an additional R27 out to the edge. We would also install two gable vents to allow the air to rise up and out - not just up. Pretty simple, but apparently someone wasn't thinking at the time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Magnetic Vent Covers

There's an inexpensive product that exists to aid a homeowner in ensuring where heat and A/C shall go - it's the magnetic vent cover.

Yes, air movement will still occur in the duct work, however you can effectively control the temperature in any given room. Sometimes a bathroom gets too hot. Sometimes rooms with the closest runs to the furnace get too hot. Nothing can be done about natural heat rise; but directional heating can be controlled.

Why not just use vent levers? Dumb question if you've ever tried to use a vent lever. They don't shut all the way. These magnetic vent covers effectively seal off the remaining gaps of a closed vent.

To install, just purchase the size closest to your vent size and cut to exact size with scissors. Simply attach to the surface and you're done.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Selling Your Retrofited Home

You've completed your remodel, fresh with new tile, siding, windows, etc. - everything a potential homeowner could want. It's priced high; but it's worth every penny and then some. Heck, market prices don't rise unless homes set a new market...and your house is every bit above and beyond the rest.


You must also realize that the market may NOT be ready to be increased and new pricing set. HZG believes it is OK to go and attempt to set the market by listing at a high price - you just may get it. You must also know that if you're not getting the showings or the offers, it may just be time to lower the price.

It doesn't need to be lowered dramatically (unless you were stupid high...I've seen that). A $5,000 reduction may just be the ticket. Real Estate agents, when pulling listings for their buyers, typically pull at "magical numbers". This means "up to", such as $100,000 to $180,000. Say your house is listed at $184,900. "Your house is listed at $184,900." OK, that was me being a smart ass. A $5,000 reduction brings the price to $179,900 - and into a new range of listings being pulled.

Some believe that you should set the price for a quick sale, so that your money can be turned quicker and you stop interest, utility and maintenance fees. Some believe you should hold out for top dollar, for top dollar will cover those fees and make up for the lost cash time. HZG believes in the middle ground - set it high, adjust it quickly.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Soil Stack Penetrations

This has got to be the most exciting topic HZG has talked

The most common attic penetration in homes is the soil stack. During construction, the builder cuts a square in the attic floor (top floor's ceiling) and installs the round soil stack. Insulation may or may not have been blown at that time. Regardless, you have a round peg in a square hole - usually enough for a nice soil stack air loss effect.

ANY home owner can seal this off with a $7.00 can of foam, unless the builder got extremely carried away with the saw. At that point, you would need a piece of foam board and caulk to go along with the foam.

Easy speazy - fix it yourself.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Basement Poured Wall Crack Remedy

Poured wall basements are becoming somewhat of a staple in the housing industry due to their speed of install and limited leaks. When they do leak however, there are a few remedies that work, the most notable being epoxy injection. There are many benefits to the poured wall, along with many negatives. We will focus on the crack issue at this time.

HZG recommends a qualified contractor to epoxy inject a wall, for if it is done by "Joe Homeowner", it will likely fail. Maybe not immediately, however eventually.

Here are the basic steps for successful low-pressure crack injection. Keep in mind, however, that the type of epoxy or polyurethane used and the time required for injection will vary with each job depending on the crack width, wall thickness, and other conditions.

Install injection ports: Surface ports (short rigid-plastic tubes with a flat base) serve as handy entryways for getting the repair material into the crack. They eliminate the need to drill into the concrete, reducing labor time and cleanup. The base of the port is placed directly over the crack and bonded to the surface with an epoxy paste. A general rule-of-thumb is to space the ports an inch apart for each inch of wall thickness.

Seal the surface: Use an epoxy adhesive (such as Emecole 301) to seal over the surface ports and exposed cracks. The paste cures in about 20 to 45 minutes to provide a surface seal with excellent bond characteristics that holds up under injection pressures. The entire exposed crack is covered with the paste, leaving only the port holes uncovered.

Inject the crack: Begin injecting at the lowest port on the wall and continue until the epoxy or urethane begins to ooze out of the port above it. That's the visual sign that the crack has been filled to that level. Plug the first port with the cap provided and move up to the next port, repeating this procedure until the entire crack has been filled with epoxy or urethane. Let the compression spring on the dispensing tool push the material into the crack using slow, constant pressure. This will reduce the possibility of leaks or blow-outs and allow time for the repair material to fully penetrate the crack.

Remove the ports: Allow 24 to 48 hours at room temperature for the epoxy or polyurethane to cure and penetrate into the cracks. The injection ports can then be removed by striking them with a trowel or hammer. If appearance is an issue, the epoxy surface seal can be chipped away or ground off with a sanding disk. Another option is to use a surface seal that can simply be peeled off the wall after the repair is fully cured. Emecole manufactures a polyurea-based seal (Emecole 322) that develops a strong enough bond to allow the injector to do the work, but is flexible and can be peeled away when the job is done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stupid People with a Wet Basement

From the files of, "you've got to be kidding me"...

Today's waterproofing call involved a frantic homeowner that says she's got a puddle on the floor and the water looks rusty. Upon arrival, the walls are bone dry and yes, there is a puddle on the floor - approximately 1' from the wall. Apparently, water jumps from the wall to a random spot on the floor.

Yes, the water had a rust color to it...yellowish to be exact. I noticed an animal cage close by and asked if she owned a pet. "Oh yes, I have a brand new puppy. He's outside right now." I asked if she ever keeps the dog in the basement...hoping she could put 2 and 2 together. Straight faced, she said "Yes, during the day when I'm not home." She still didn't get it. I asked her to go and smell the puddle. This lady would do anything...if it wasn't raining I would have asked her to wash my car as part of the inspection, but I digress... The lady smells the puddle and says, "It smells kind of like pee."

I'm still waiting for the light to go on above her head, however it doesn't until I say, "There you have it! It's your dog..."

Boy did she feel stupid...I think...then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Warranties and Guarantees

In many industries, there are warranties and guarantees that go along with a product and service. These guarantees are only as good as the company servicing them, as well as the stipulations that cover them. The key here is, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Wheter it's energy savings or home retrofits - you typically get what you pay for...

When talking to a customer about a warranty or guarantee, HZG is explicit in the details as to how the warranty functions. It is important to know that two parties are involved and have responsibilities for a warranty - the holder and the servicer. There are many asterisks involved and it is imperative that you know what they are - such as if it is a waterproofing warranty, plants, sidewalks, driveways, etc. are not covered. If the issue below ground is something else not covered by the warranty, the client would pay. If a crack is greater than 1/16", the warranty is not covered due to get the idea.

The following is a banter from the movie Tommy Boy that best reflects warranties in our industry...

Tommy: Let's think about this for a sec, Ted, why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting.

Ted Nelson, Customer: Go on, I'm listening.

Tommy: Here's the way I see it, Ted. A guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.

Ted Nelson, Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.

Tommy: 'Course it does. Why shouldn't it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?

Ted Nelson, Customer: What's your point?

Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? "Building model airplanes" says the little fairy, well, we're not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that's all it takes. The next thing you know, there's money missing off the dresser and your daughter's knocked up, I've seen it a hundred times.

Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?

Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That's all it is, isn't it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.

Ted Nelson, Customer: [pause] Okay, I'll buy from you.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trailer Trash Idiots

With apologies to people that are not trash but live in trailers, this article is NOT for you...

Following up with "more idiots that shouldn't own homes", today's call came from a true trailer trashette. These people need a good old fashioned crack to the head...

"My trailer roof is leaking, and your company was out here!" Of course, HZG has learned not to expect the worst anymore, for issues are generally NOT our issue. If it's our problem, fine...however 99.9% of the time, well, you'll see...

We completed the work at this person's trailer, and one of the services was applying a coat of sealer (see previous article) to the roof. In the file, it was noted that the ceiling was in poor shape and had leaked in the past - per homeowner description.

Upon our arrival to the site, we put up a ladder and inspected the roof. Well, her boyfriend, we're told, went up to inspect why our sealer was leaking. The rocket scientist brought up "some tar" - which incidentally should NOT be used on a trailer - to correct the issue. Well, he put tar all over, and left his tar footprints behind - all over the trailer. He also walked on the roof - not the bracing or planking. Not our issue...

The trash, er, lady was astounded that we weren't taking responsibility. We showed her the footprints and she said that "I'll have his A$$ when he gets home toonight."

Upon this intellectual conversation, we left...heads held high...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

High Efficiency Furnaces

HZG had his personal furnace go out this past was operating at as a 60+ furnace. Extremely wasteful; however the HZG family's home has been used as a continual test case of energy efficient practices to see what happens after an energy savings measure is instituted. Next on our list is dense-packing our sidewalls (currently empty). The worst gas bill this past winter (with all the improvements we've done to date) was $189. By I digress...

When your furnace goes bad, it's time to evaluate whether to put in an 80+ or a 90+ furnace. HZG recommends a 90+ if you plan on living in the home for more than 5 years and you are in a climate (such as Ohio) with colder than average winters. If you own a rental property, before putting in a 90+ furnace, make sure it is an upper end rental...reasons to follow.

80% or high efficiency?
The EPA requires furnaces to have at least a 78% AFUE (annual fuel-utilization rating). This means that a minimum of 78% of the fuel consumed is directly converted to heat your home. The rest escapes through the flue, literally up the chimney. Currently, the most efficient furnaces you can buy have a 97% AFUE. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it probably has an AFUE of only 65%, so it's easy to see how improvements in energy conservation can have a direct impact on your fuel bill.

90+ furnaces are directly vented to the outside via plastic piping, avoiding the chimney altogether. The furnace needs to be checked yearly, for it has many higher tech parts than an 80+. Also, the furnace filter MUST be changed frequently.

An 80+ furnace is the best bet for short occupancy, for the savings will not be recovered quickly with the 90+. For lower end rentals, the 80+ is the best bet for tenants are rough with everything - including a furnace. If they are in charge of changing filters, they won't... For higher end rentals, the 90+ furnace can be advertised as a benefit to the prospective tenant.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Combat Global Warming

The following are easy ways for the average homeowner to help reduce global warming. Easy speazy.

1) Replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year because they require 60% less energy to produce the same amount of light

2) Cleaning a dirty furnace filter or replacing it can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide per year

3) Wrapping a water heater in an insulation blanket can save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide over the course of a year

4) Setting the water heater thermostat to no higher than 120 degrees F can save 550 pounds per year

5) Properly insulating walls and ceilings can save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually

6) Caulking and weather-stripping can save 1,700 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year.

Through these simple techniques, we reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 5,900 pounds per year, per house.

Try'll like it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Idiots should not own homes...

Today is a rant about idiots that own homes (and shouldn't). There will be no names, towns or agency names used to protect the innocent. This is a real life scenario.

A phone call was received by a councilman in a neighborhood from homeowner stating her furnace was not working due to a bad contractor. The contractor was part of a weatherization program that had completed work on this person's furnace that day.

The councilman then did the next best lazy thing...he called the Mayor of the city.

The Mayor did the next best lazy thing...he called the Executive Director (ED) of the program.

The ED of the program did the next best lazy thing...he call the heating contractor's office (at 9:00 PM at one was there...go figure). He then called the program Director at 9:30 PM, 9:32 PM and 9:35 PM...on his cell phone instead of his home phone. No answer (but he could have received an answer if he had tried the home phone...)

So then the ED weighs his options...should he send the client to a Marriott to stay? Should he go over to see exactly what the issue is? The ED decides to go to the clients home. The client takes the ED over to the furnace area and states that she thinks that the furnace switch (a couple of feet above her head out of arms reach) was not turned on. So the ED grabs a broom and flicks a switch. Problem solved.

To enhance the story, in the morning the PD gets a phone call from the ED reaming him a new place to poop.

This is a story about brains and the lack of usage of them. The home owner could have turned on the switch by herself. The Councilman could have inquired as to what the problem may have been and suggested calling a heating contractor if he couldn't solve it over the phone. The ED could have done exactly what the councilman could have done. Instead, no one thinks and the PD gets a reaming. Nice.

Sorry for the rant. Regular programming to return soon...pending stupidity.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Weatherizatio Training Center

The weatherization training center in Ohio is COAD (Corporation of Ohio Appalachian Development.) Any contractor that states they are weatherization professionals should 1) Know about COAD, 2) Have been certified in various course by COAD and 3) Continue their education. If your potential weatherization contractor looks stupified...well, he / she probably is. The following is taken directly from COADs website for you to get a brief background on what COAD is...

Goals: Provide affordable and effective training that enables community action agencies to provide quality services to serve the low-income residents of Ohio, and serve as a resource for technical consultation and trouble-shooting.

Ohio Weatherization Training Center (OWTC): COAD operates the OWTC under a contract with the Ohio Department of Development. The first OWTC opened in 1980, and as we celebrate our 27th anniversary this year we will continue to strive to improve the training and technical services we offer in the state of Ohio.

The OWTC offers both packaged and custom training courses on state-of-the-art building diagnostic, weatherization and heating system services and procedures to community-based organizations, local governments and private contractors throughout Ohio. Over 14,000 students have attended courses offered by the OWTC. Contact Mike Keyes ( for more information regarding consumer education training, Russ Bogue ( for heating classes and related training, and G.H. Runevitch ( for training regarding home inspection and weatherization. To learn more about the OWTC and its current courses, click here:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mobile Home Roof Coating

Today we are covering briefly the coating of a mobile home, a.k.a. trailer, roof coating. In weatherization, sometimes you must apply a roof sealer to help protect the shell of the trailer from leaking. This process is a great fix on newer trailers; a quick fix "waste of time" for beat up trailers. Yesterday, we encountered a "waste of time" trailer.

First, the roof must be scraped and checked for obvious voids. You must ensure that the roof shell is dry, for the sealer will not stick all. This particular trailer had a bent roof, cracks, name it. Once the roof is dry, apply the sealer evenly. The forecast for weather must be dry for at least 24 hours past installing and maintain a temperature of at least 50 degrees F.

This trailer that we applied a sealer to will leak in the near future, however no money was to be ponied up to fix the roof properly. We did this job as a favor, with a large asterisk beside it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Affordable Comfort Conference

Today's post is strictly an advertisement for a good show that happens yearly in the weatherization field. If you are green, want to be green, or just interested in insulation; this is the show.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the ACI Home Performance Conference

If you have a stake in residential health & safety, durability, comfort, and energy efficiency, you cannot afford to miss this conference. Here's why:

Kudos for this Conference
"If you want to transfer an idea, a practice, a change of attitude to the home performance industry, ACI is the best place to start. If it becomes accepted at ACI, over time, you see it become accepted in the industry, in training programs, in trade press, in advice to consumers, and in building practice. In terms of organization, ACI is the standard to which I compare other conferences. Few measure up."
Don Fugler, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation
"This conference is the melting pot for the most dedicated practitioners in the nation. This is where everything begins and ends; the best information from the best people is right here. These are the people who have the highest concern to make changes, from the level of policy, right down to the level of the practitioner, and to see building science move forward."
John Tooley, Senior Building Science Consultant, Advanced Energy
I gain access to a lot of diverse groups: from folks who've got mud on their boots, to great vendors who are selling products that I haven't heard about, and it helps me do my job better. The people here are diverse in terms of what their niche is in the building science community, but the common thread is, you come to this conference if you really want to advance your knowledge, and take those lessons learned back, and do better work. We've changed our whole approach as a result of our involvement with ACI.
Dennis Creech, Executive Director, Southface Energy Institute
Register Online Today

Click here to Register for the Conference
Thanks to Our Sponsors, Exhibitors, & Partners!
Host Sponsor - Ohio Department of Development
Also Sponsoring AC07
Exhibiting at AC07
Our Valued Partners

1. Brand New Session Content. With global warming, peak oil, and the cost of energy on everyone's minds, this year's agenda is geared to give you tools to meet these challenges and explore the role of the whole house approach. One track looks at Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Going Green. A session in the Healthy Homes track asks, "Is Green Housing Healthier Housing?" and a session in the Program Productivity & Impact tract discusses "Maintaining Operational Efficiencies As You Scale Up." In addition to exciting new content, there are updated and timeless sessions that address key issues and opportunities. You'll still find the solid technical fundamentals that are so important to new staff and management. If you are a repeat attendee, check out the conference agenda for ACI Veterans.
2. Awesome Presenters. More than 170 presenters will share their expertise. Learn from and interact with some of the top presenters, leaders, and experts in North America, including Rana Belshe, Michael Blasnik, Terry Brennan, Anthony Cox, Skip Hayden, Rick Karg, Joe Kuonen, Joe Lstiburek, Mac Pearce, Betsy Pettit, John Proctor, Virginia Salaras, Tamasin Sterner, John Straube, and John Tooley.
3. Top Notch Participants. The people and organizations who attend the ACI Home Performance Conference combine first hand experience of how buildings work, why they fail, and how to achieve home performance that integrates health, safety, durability, and energy efficiency - all critical components of a sustainable future. Their years of experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating whole house practices are best represented at this conference. The ACI annual conference has a reputation for being the destination for committed professionals, and is a primary event for networking, renewing old connections, and making new ones.
4. Continuing Education Units & Certifications. Take advantage of this opportunity to update your credentials and certifications. CEUs are available from
Minnesota Residential Building Officials
Ohio Residential Building Officials
Ohio Residential Plan Examiners
Ohio Residential Building Inspectors
Ohio Hydronics
and RESNET. Click here to learn what credits are available for each session. BPI in-field and written certification testing will be available. Email or call 1-877-274-1274 for more information. Rater certification testing is also available. For further info, contact Terry Smith at or 614-351-1439.
5. Half Day & Full Day Short Courses. On Monday and Thursday afternoon you can dig in for an intensive learning experience with more than 50 Short Courses. Just as a sample, check out the session descriptions for MFD 01N The Garage Connection, MFD 04N Techniques for Using Spray Foam & Sealants, MAM 19 Windows: Sorting Through the Options, MAM 20 Training that Sticks, MPM 12 Sales Boot Camp for Whole House Services, ThPM 03 Sell Solutions, Don't Buy Problems, and ThPM 08 Practical In-house Monitoring for Assessment & Feedback. You can view all short courses by clicking here.
6. There's something for everyone on the agenda. With 104 sessions in the core conference alone, you may feel like a kid in a candy store! Tailored agendas have been provided for 27 different fields - some recently added include Sales & Marketing Staff, Utility Staff, Affordable Housing Providers, and Women and Minority Business Owners. Use the drop down box at the top right corner of each agenda page to find the sessions of interest to you.
7. Flexible Scheduling that Suits your Time Availability. If you can't spare the whole week, you can come for a half day, full day, or for the core conference. Conference pricing covers all options!
8. It's a Cost Effective Training & Conference Opportunity The conference has so much to offer, it pays to send more than one person from your organization. One person can't get to every session of interest, or network with every person you want to reach. You can increase the impact for your organization when more than one person attends. Group discounts are available when you send three or more people from the same organization.
9. Visit an Exciting Tradeshow. Find effective solutions and build relationships at the two-day trade show. You'll have access to the nation's leading manufacturers showcasing cutting edge products and technology. Meet face to face with companies who provide the tools and services you need to work smarter! See who is exhibiting.
10. Evening Sessions, Special Events and Fun Things to Do. ACI has planned lots for you to do during evening hours, as well as before and after the core conference. Check out the Tuesday evening Forum - Aggressive Residential Efficiency for Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Friday's full day special event Profit with Home Performance, the Thursday afternoon Cleveland Renewables Tour, and more on our Special Features page.
Haven't registered yet? Register Online Now!
Who Should Attend this Conference? Program implementers, home performance contractors, weatherization providers, administrators, trainers / educators, utility representatives, energy efficiency advocates, green champions, policy makers, energy raters, building scientists, design professionals, home inspectors, product manufacturers, builders, remodelers, HVAC contractors & installers, insulation & air sealing contractors, code officials, and others concerned with health, comfort, safety, and energy efficiency in homes.

phone: 800-344-4866