Stan’s ‘Whole House’ Approach

by Chris Strand

I began my career with one goal in mind: to save energy in people’s homes and businesses.

In 1978 there was very little subject matter on how this could be done. Initially, I tried installing attic insulation, floor insulation, putting storm windows on people’s homes, caulking and weather stripping to make building shells more airtight, sometimes individually, sometimes in concert. Judging from customer feedback, I found that the more measures I undertook, the better results I got. Conversely, I found that if only one measure was taken, the results varied immensely.

While working in attics prepping and installing insulation, I started looking more and more at the air conditioning and heating equipment and ductwork. I soon realized that all my building improvements were only as good at the heating and cooling system and its ductwork. I was horrified to discover that more often than not, the ductwork was in bad condition, the equipment was seldom maintained, and it all functioned poorly. Worse, it was not uncommon to find huge holes in the ductwork. Back then, the quality of heating and cooling systems and ductwork varied dramatically. It wasn’t until we addressed the entire house by sealing the building envelope, installing window shading, improving the ductwork, and insulating the attic in combination with repairing, cleaning, calibrating, or replacing existing HVAC equipment, that we could achieve spectacular results. Once we took the perspective that all problems had to be addressed together, we found that we could reduce our customers’ heating and cooling bills by 50%. Thus the ‘Whole House’ approach was born.

Today, I’m celebrating almost 30 years of success using the ‘Whole House’ approach. In 2011, although weatherization, heating, and cooling technology has come a long way, the ‘Whole House’ principles are more important than ever. In fact, the US Department of Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star Programs are basically what I pioneered three decades back. The ‘Whole House’ approach is the only thing that works, plain and simple.

Now that I own Stan’s, a paradigm shift has occurred in this company, and I’m excited for our customers to see the results and provide us feedback.