New Florida HVAC Rebate Program Spurs FSEC to Offer Duct Testing Course

The state of Florida is offering a $1500-per-household rebate for efficient air conditioner and heat pump replacements under the Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program. The rebates are available for systems that are contracted after August 30, 2010 and meet duct testing and efficiency requirements. The program ends December 31, 2010 or when $15 million in rebate funds are depleted.

The Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program is designed to encourage existing homeowners to replace their old energy-inefficient heating and cooling system with a properly-sized energy efficient system and to ensure that their heating and cooling duct system has minimal leakage.

Each home must have their ducts tested to assure they are not extremely leaky, in order to receive the rebate. The required duct test must be performed after installation. If your ductwork is difficult to access in order to make repairs, then you may want to have your ductwork tested prior to signing a contract to participate. Most homes will have ducts that pass the test, while others will have leaks that can be repaired.

Most Class 1 Residential Energy Raters have the equipment and are certified to test the duct system. Find a list of energy raters at http://www.energygauge.com/search.htm (select ‘Class 1 Res’ in the search filter).

If your ductwork is found to be extremely leaky, such that you won’t be eligible for the rebate, you may want to consider the expense of replacing or repairing the ductwork. If your current ductwork is extremely leaky and in a confined attic space with limited access, you may even want to consider a new duct system installed below your ceiling, so the ductwork is in the conditioned space, saving an extra 5 to 10%.  Some homes have exposed ducts, while others build a second drop-down ceiling around the ductwork.

In addition to Class 1 Energy Raters, the state rebate program allows for Licensed Mechanical Contractors and Certified Test and Balance Professionals to verify the duct tightness. In order for those professionals to learn how to test, FSEC is offering a two-day course on duct testing, Duct Testing 101.

Information and registration for the Duct Testing 101 course are available at http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/go/ducttesting101

Full Energy Rater training is available at http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/cont_ed/bldg/erater.php.

Information about the full requirements of the Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program can be found at http://www.rebates.com/floridahvac/.

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17 Responses to “New Florida HVAC Rebate Program Spurs FSEC to Offer Duct Testing Course”

  1. Mike Simmons Says:

    No class 1 testers showed up for Orange and Seminole counties

  2. Sherri Shields Says:

    At http://www.energygauge.com/search.htm, I selected ‘FL’ in the state field, and entered ‘Seminole’ in the county field. Results for this county and others appeared, including Orange County.

  3. Rob Vieira Says:

    All class 1 raters willing to work to in the county selected will appear. Thus their home location may be outsdie the county. I see a number of Class 1 raters listed for Seminole when I select Seminole, both those with home base in the county and outside it, and the same when I select Orange.

  4. Mike Simmons Says:

    Thanks Sherri! I had included a zip code in the search thinking it would find raters within a certain radius of that zip code. I also entered several other zip codes but evidently this restricted the search to only those zip codes.

  5. John Comly Says:

    The duct testing course from what I understand is not required by the state. A licensed mechanical contractor with training provided by the manufacture of the duct blaster equipment is all that is really needed. Please correct me if wrong.
    Thanks
    John

  6. Sherri Shields Says:

    That is correct. The duct testing course is NOT required by the state. The course is being offered for those licensed mechanical contractors and test and balance agents who feel they need training.

  7. Frank Statler Says:

    How is it not a conflict of interest that a mechanical contractor is allowed to test the duct leakage before and after? There are going to be a ton of scams whereby the mech contractor tests the duct leakage before, changes out the system, and re-tests the leakage afterward, which may or may not improve. The duct tightness should be confirmed by an independent 3rd party verifier, not the guy doing the work.

  8. John Comly Says:

    Who said anything about a the Mechanical Contractor testing his own work> The topic was: A state licensed mechanical contractor is NOT required to take any further classes or tests to perform duct leakage test. A licensed mechanical contractor is the highest rated license in the field of HVAC. But a certified test is a certified test regardless of who does repairs. I don’t know of many licensed mechanical contractors that would put their license at risk for a mere $400.00. Maybe a ham & egg A/C guy would but not CMC, for the CMC is the hardest license to get and to keep.

  9. Rob Vieira Says:

    The state went with language in a section of the code. However, most testing is being done by a 3rd party energy rater as most mechanical contractors do not have the equipment. Consumers should always be on the lookout for scams.

  10. Chad Cooper Says:

    Does the testing physically have to be done by the class 1 rater, or can it be done by one of his/her employees?

  11. Sherri Shields Says:

    The form says a Class 1 rater, mechanical contractor or test and balance. It does not say employee of. This is NOT FSEC’s program, however, so questions should be directed to FRACCA – Florida Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors, 727-576-3225, for official answers.

  12. ed rettig Says:

    LIST OF CERTIFIED RATERS WAS VERY HELPFUL IN MY SEARCH FOR BREVARD COUNTY RATER. NOW NEED TO FIND AN INDEPENDENT PERSON/COMPANY TO PROVIDE THE DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED TO PROPERLY SIZE THE HVAC SYSTEM (FIRST PAGE OF THE ACCA MANUAL J PROGRAM). CAN YOU HELP? CAN RATERS ALSO PERFORM THIS TASK FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE?

  13. Chuck Winters Says:

    Does this program exist anymore. I was told it did not get funded.
    Can I get the $300 fee paid to the inspector given back to me????
    Another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing!!!

  14. Chuck Winters Says:

    How do I get my $300 inspection fee payment back when the state has stopped the rebate program???
    The only reason I had the inspection done was to qualify for the state rebate of $1,500

  15. Sherri Shields Says:

    I’m not sure how the Governor’s Office is handling this. Since this program is managed from their office, please contact them directly:
    Florida Energy & Climate Commission
    Executive Office of the Governor
    600 South Calhoun Street, Suite 251
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300
    Phone: 850.487.3800
    Fax: 850.922.9701
    Energy@eog.myflorida.com

  16. mike Says:

    The Florida HVAC rebate has been reopened but most Floridians have been cut out of participating. Originally the program was to run from September to the end of December. After the program was halted many of us continued with our plans to complete our HVAC replacement and be ready to file for the rebate when it was reopened. Unfortunately, when the program was restarted in November, the number of days in which to complete the process had been reduced to 14. If this wasn’t bad enough, the days in which to comply were in the past! It is as if the state changed its mind but agreed to process the applications that were filed prior to its hiatus.

    If I am not in error, this is the third rebate program that has ended in embarrassment.

  17. Dr. Ben - Solar Inventor Says:

    Let’s bring some of that SRCC testing up to NCSU!

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