2021 Quick Start Grant Recipients
Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries
The Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries (IHACI) will train 10 contractors in the use of their Visual Service software, which enables master installers to remotely supervise multiple field technicians through a video platform linked to wireless diagnostic tools.
Contractors have conveyed to IHACI that the biggest problem they face in properly installing heat pumps is finding qualified personnel. While there are many service-dispatching and accounting programs for contractors, there have been few attempts to create software that provides direct support to field service technicians and installers on the job.
IHACI has developed Visual Service (“VS”), an Internet-based software system that allows one service manager to assess and support multiple field technicians. The software allows a remote master technician to supervise the work of multiple field technicians in realtime. Internet-connected tools show readings live onscreen for the service manager to evaluate as the technician works on their project. IHACI will recruit 10 contractors in the Southern California area to be trained in this software, supplying each with a standard set of advanced wireless diagnostic testing instruments. Of the 10 contractors, four will work primarily in low-income areas.
Theory of Change
This program will test a promising approach for workforce development that trains contractors on proper installation, refrigerant recovery, and refrigerant charge on the job. It aims to foster meaningful expansion of the heat pump workforce and result in more successful installations, a lower likelihood of callbacks, and a higher quality experience for the customer. The project also has potential additional benefits including testing usage of the software for Title 24 self-certification and video inspections and tracking and documenting refrigerant recovery at the end of equipment life.