As a contractor – and most likely a small business owner – any way for you to differentiate your service is a good thing. Here’s one we found that could be a difference maker.

ACCA logoThe Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) is launching the “Quality Assured” (QA) program – a nationwide standard for recognizing contractors that install HVAC systems according to requirements spelled out in the ANSI/ACCA 5 Quality Installation (QI) Standard.

We think it’s no small distinction. The EPA estimates that more than half of all air-conditioners in U.S. homes have one or more “installation issues,” wasting consumer money in lost efficiencies and taxing the environment in increased energy consumption. ACCA Chairman John Sedine points out, “The QA program will offer quality contractors an opportunity to differentiate themselves as businesses that do the right thing by both their customers and our nation’s energy infrastructure.”

As a contracting pro, you probably are already following most of the requirements that are the basis of the QA certification. For example, the QI Standard requires that contractors install correctly sized HVAC equipment, ensure the proper refrigerant charge, meet electrical requirements, and vent equipment properly. It also requires contractors to keep written records and follow municipal laws regarding disposal of hazardous waste.

You don’t have to belong to the ACCA to participate in the QA program. Qualification requires you to:

  1. Attend a 4-hour ACCA orientation course
  2. Maintain government-required licenses, insurance, and/or bonding
  3. Maintain written policies, procedures, and practices
  4. Install HVAC systems in ENERGY STAR-intended new homes

The first orientation course is offered Feb. 15, 2011, as a pre-conference workshop in conjunction with ACCA’s 43rd Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo in San Antonio, Texas. You can get a ton more info as a free download at

What do you think? Will accreditation’s or public standards like this make a difference to your business? Is there a perceived notion by the public that HVAC installation isn’t “professional” enough? We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment.