WINTER DUCTLESS  UPDATES
Hello and Happy New Year! 
 
Thank you from the entire NW Ductless Heat Pump Project team for your participation and support in making 2017 a banner year. Last year we were able to facilitate promotions from most major ductless manufacturers - bringing unique offerings to homeowners throughout the region. With more efficient ductless models and manufacturers new to the Northwest introducing their ductless systems, we're excited to continue growing the market in 2018. 
 
Remember to contact your local utility to ensure you're up to date with current rebates. Many utilities changed their rebate amounts in Q4 2017, and more are scheduled to change in Q1 2018.
 
We look forward to continued success and working with you in 2018.  
2018 DHP REFRIGERATION REGULATION CHANGE
Starting on January 1, 2018 the EPA will extend refrigeration management requirements related to ozone-depleting substances (ODS) to include R-410a refrigerant. Here are some high-level points to be aware of:
  • The regulations will apply to anyone installing, servicing, repairing, or maintaining a DHP.
  • R-410a refrigerant will need to comply with ODS sale and resale requirements.
  • Technicians must pass a certification exam offered by an approved technician certification program to maintain, service, repair or dispose of appliances containing R-410a refrigerants.
  • Technicians must keep a copy of their certificate at their place of business.
  • Technicians must maintain a copy of their certificate until three years after no longer operating as a technician.
Technicians working on regular air-source heat pumps are likely to already have the necessary certification.

For more information about this update, see  this publication from the EPA. 
DUCTLESS INSTALLATION TIP: SEALING BUILDING PENETRATIONS
Penetrations created for passing the line set through the building shell need to be sealed to prevent water intrusion, air leakage, and access by animals. Many utilities note improper sealing of building penetrations are frequent problems in during inspection. Here are some quick tips on the best ways to ensure a proper seal:
 
Common locations of penetrations include framed walls, concrete stem walls, and crawlspace vents. Rigid surfaces (e.g., concrete stem walls, vertical cladding, or soffits) should be sealed with a flexible sealant rated for outdoor use, able to withstand prolonged sun exposure, and meeting local codes and standards. Holes should not be oversized.  Never use expanding foam, which does not form a permanent, durable seal. For oversized holes, where the space between the line set insulation and rigid surface exceeds distances recommended by the sealant manufacturer, a rigid material should be used to create a patch that gets sealed to the rigid material and to the line set, effectively bridging the gap.
 
A line set that runs through a crawlspace vent should be sealed tight with a corrosion resistant hardware cloth or screen material and mechanically fastened. Galvanized sheet metal can be used assuming the portion of the crawlspace vent that is blocked does not negatively affect the overall crawlspace ventilation strategy.
NEW MASTER INSTALLER ICON
We heard from numerous Master Installers that they wanted additional ways to communicate their Master Installer status. To help showcase your experience with ductless technology, commitment to quality, and excellent customer service, we have created a badge for Master Installers to use in marketing materials. Master Installers can display the icon on websites, include it in email signatures, or use it on company letterhead with pride.  

If you're already a Master Installer, contact info@GoingDuctless.com for a link to download the badge. If you're interested in becoming a Master Installer, you can learn about the process here
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
The Project has developed winter-themed social media posts to help drive customers to your business. You can download the posts here. Feel free to customize these posts to reflect your company's voice, or just copy and paste the posts in their entirety. An example:

"Start the new year off on a warm foot! Upgrade to a new energy-efficient ductless system and cut electric heating costs by up to 50%. [Link to GoingDuctless.com or your company website]"

Although Twitter expanded their character limit to 280 characters, users have reacted negatively to the change and we suggest keeping posts as close to the previous 140-character limit as possible. Facebook posts also perform better if kept short.

We recommend including an image with every post. You can find ductless system lifestyle and product imagery in the Project's online image library. To request a password, please email info@GoingDuctless.com.
UPCOMING DUCTLESS TRAINING REVISIONS 
To help installers become oriented with the NW Ductless Heat Pump Project, the team has been busy transitioning our Installer Orientation and Best Practices Webinar to an on demand learning platform. The new platform will allow you to get your new staff project oriented on their schedule and make the process of becoming a Master Installer even easier. Keep an eye on the GoingDuctless.com training page for launch information. 
The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). NEEA is an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and  practices  in the Northwest.