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Nov 22, 2021

A Day in The Life of a Home Energy Specialist

Brian McFadden is the president of Guardian Home Energy, which specializes in energy assessments and insulation. McFadden came to energy efficiency from the insulation industry and started his own company in 2012. His typical day includes two field estimates, energy audits, and sales calls. McFadden recently moved to Denver to expand his business, but he's had to adjust his sales plan due to the different climate and duct work. He plans to expand his company by the middle of 2022.

By: Macie Melendez

Light bulb with wood house on the table.

Brian McFadden is the president of Guardian Home Energy, or as his business card says, he’s a Comfort Advisor and Home Energy Specialist. Guardian Home Energy specializes in energy assessments and insulation in Orange County, San Diego, and Riverside counties. McFadden recently moved to Denver, Colorado and is working to expand his business there, too.

McFadden came to energy efficiency from another, related avenue. He started in insulation in the early 2000s, then took at job in the mortgage market during the boom in 2005. His focus has consistently been in sales, although for a few industries, such as timeshares and health insurance. In 2012, he partnered with a subcontractor and formed his own company: Renewable Energy Services, which eventually became Guardian Home Energy in 2015.

Having participated in the Energy Upgrade California program, McFadden is trained in home energy audits. He owns a blower door and IR camera, and while he’s sort of done it all in the way of energy efficiency home improvements, he prefers the sales side. 

I spoke to McFadden and asked him to describe a typical day in his life. Here’s what he described. 

8 am – Wake up, walk the dogs

9 am – Go to the gym

10 am – Come home, meditate

11 am – start work at home by calling leads (he uses a site called Home Advisor)

McFadden moved to Colorado a few months ago, so his sales calls are still being done in California. “I take leads that are specifically for insulation, and assuming it’s a good fit with customer, I then attempt to also sell exterior upgrades, radiant barrier, duct replacement, etc.,” says McFadden. While he used to do all the quotes in person, he’s now selling on the phone because of the move.

12 pm – first appointment of the day

McFadden’s typical day consists of two appointments, which are what he calls “field estimates,” which means he visits a potential customer, takes a look at their home, and speaks with them about what they may need in the way of efficiency upgrades. These visual assessments usually involve checking attics and recommending insulation. 

2 pm – second appointment of the day

Sometimes, McFadden will do a more in-depth energy audit, which will take him a couple of hours. He uses a blower door, gets the readings, and uses his IR camera to view where any air may be leaving the home. When he does energy audits, he takes several measurements, then creates a report. He’ll go back a few days later to present the findings and offer energy efficiency recommendations. Depending on what the client wants after seeing the report, he will then quote his price. 

5 pm – back home

McFadden is currently working hard to expand Guardian Home Energy into Colorado, which means finding team members and trucks, and working with local utilities for customer rebates. He’s also got a bit of adjusting to do in his sales plan as the climate and the duct work in Colorado is quite different than in California. “Most ducts seem to run underground here in Colorado,” he says. “They’re hard, metal ducts, too. In California, we did a lot of duct replacement in attics but I am not sure I’m going to be able to sell that in Denver.”

He plans to officially expand his company by the middle of 2022, so maybe we’ll catch up with him again in the new year.

Macie Melendez
Editor In Chief

Macie Melendez is the Editor In Chief of the Building Performance eJournal.

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