What the Heck is High Performance HVAC w/ David Holt

David Holt with the National Comfort Institute (NCI) returns to the podcast to talk about high-performance HVAC and what the heck it even is.

High-performance HVAC is all about delivering the highest possible equipment performance out of the box. High-performance HVAC is a key element of NCI's work; equipment should be able to deliver the health, comfort, safety, reliability, and efficiency expected by the occupants, and equipment that can't do that often has root issues we need to troubleshoot and fix. In many cases, the root cause has something to do with airflow issues.

As contractors, we can focus more heavily on testing fan airflow to get to the bottom of poor HVAC performance, even when there may not be an apparent airflow problem. We need the proper test instrumentation to measure CFM, a key indicator of performance. We can't expect to maximize system performance until the airflow is correct across the heat exchange surfaces.

Many factors that contribute to poor equipment performance actually have to do with building science, including issues like air leakage. Although HVAC contractors can't control that, we can be successful if we have a culture and mindset that makes us put our customers first and work with the circumstances we're given to deliver the best possible solution.

David and Bryan also discuss:

  • David's role at NCI
  • Manufacturer, distributor, contractor, technician, and customer relationships
  • How to measure CFM effectively
  • Effects of improperly
  • Issues that arise during building construction
  • Parts vs. equipment vs. systems
  • What makes a good service technician
  • The high-performance mindset
  • Having a classroom vs. a commitment to training


If you want to get more involved in HVAC training, you can text David at (706)-332-2212 or visit Learn more about NCI's High-Performance HVAC Summit at

Check out the HVACR Training Symposium and order your virtual tickets before, during, or after the symposium (Jan 19-21, 2023) at

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