September 13, 2018

When we take our car or truck to a mechanic, we expect, or at least believe, that the individual diagnosing and making repairs is a specialist on motor vehicles. This same principle applies to contractors performing work on your home. BPI Certified Professionals are house specialists: they specifically address comfort, safety, durability, and energy efficiency issues in your home.

For many homeowners and tenants, energy bills account for far too much of the monthly budget. These homes suffer from problems ranging from high energy consumption to comfort issues to indoor air quality concerns. These are problems that a contractor not trained and certified to identify typically cannot solve – a BPI Certified Professional can.

BPI Certified Professionals are whole-house contractors

Contractors who use the whole-house or house-as-a-system approach (a method of looking at the whole house instead of a single area or appliance) help their customers get long-lasting and cost-effective results. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the house-as-a-system approach reduces homeowner annual utility bills by up to 20%.

The components of your house — the insulation, HVAC systems, the thermal envelope, appliances, and lighting — all contribute to the comfort, health and safety, and energy efficiency of the home. These components need to work together like a well-tuned machine. If one system has a problem, it impacts the other systems’ ability to function properly. Treating the obvious symptom of one component, without knowing the real culprit behind it, can make the problem worse or create new problems.

For example, homeowners often believe they have drafty windows. BPI Certified Professionals are trained to know that this problem is often indicative of a broader air flow problem. She or he will look at all components of the home to find the root cause(s) of the problem.

What makes BPI Certified Professionals exceptional?

BPI Certified Professionals use equipment and tools to diagnose issues in a home, just as an automotive specialist uses equipment and tools to diagnose your car. BPI Certified Professionals differentiate themselves through the following:  

  • Sophisticated tools and equipment: BPI Certified Professionals use blower doors to test and analyze air leaks and drafts coming from your doors, windows, ceilings, crawlspaces, and other areas. They use infrared (IR) cameras to determine where insulation is missing or is at insufficient levels in your home. BPI Certified Professionals use carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to identify if there are any carbon monoxide (CO) gases in the home. And, these are just a few of the tools in their toolbox!

  • Take certification exams: BPI Certified Professionals are different from typical home contractors in their level of knowledge and training. BPI Certified Professionals must have significant experience to earn their certifications. They must pass both (typically) written and field exams, which are completed live in front of a BPI Proctor.

  • Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs): To maintain their certification, BPI Certified Professionals must earn continuing education units. This continuing education helps them stay at the forefront of solving home and building owners’ trickiest problems. This continuing education, requisite years of experience, and certifications are generally not the case for other home contractors. Additionally, BPI Certified Professionals follow standards and protocols set by leading building science experts when completing their work.

  • Provide prioritized and unbiased findings: BPI Certified Professionals are ethically bound by their certification to recommend improvements that will stabilize temperatures throughout the home, ensure healthier indoor environments, and lower energy bills. 

  • Participate with state and utility programs: Many utility and state energy programs require participating contractors to have BPI certifications. The BPI Certified Professionals who hold the most advanced BPI certifications (Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, Crew Leader, and Retrofit Installer Technician) perform most of the weatherization services in the country. That’s work on hundreds of thousand homes! It can often take a decade to earn these advanced certifications.

Ultimately, the goal of the BPI Certified Professional is to make your home as healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient as possible for you and your family.  

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Hannah C. Wood

Hannah C. Wood joined the Building Performance Institute, Inc. as the Marketing and Communications Director in July 2016. She likes all home projects from yard work to insulation. She's committed to helping keep people comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient at home.