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Waste not, sweat not

image Mike Harsin, owner of Harsin Energy Services

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Waste not, want not.” I.e., those who practice frugality in their habits will always have what they need.






    Ben would have made a good employee of Harsin Energy Services, where we could say, “Waste not, sweat not.” Owner Mike Harsin is in firm agreement with B.F. when he conducts his energy audits on homes and businesses. If he spots bad ductwork or inadequate insulation, Harsin sees nothing but wasted cool air and higher electric bills.
    The East Texas native moved to Dallas after working for a railroad company. He has a neighbor in the HVAC business who hired him part-time while he looked for work.
    Harsin got an email one day, advertising training for energy efficiency. That appealed to him, but he couldn’t afford the school or their equipment. His HVAC neighbor found the equipment online and cheaper, and Harsin got trained and started using it full-time.
    Eventually, he branched out on his own, starting Harsin Energy Services about nine years ago.
    Harsin does all the energy efficiency audits, as well as recommendations and estimates. He’ll then dispatch his crews to do what the customer wants to fix.
    Harsin Energy has two full-time workers and one person who does all the radiant barrier jobs.
    While Harsin can’t promise a specific percentage of savings one might see, the average seems to be a 20-50 percent lower electric bill. One woman’s bill went from over $600 a month to nothing more than $325.
    Ben Franklin would have loved that one.
    As expected, Harsin does a lot of residential work, but also does his fair share of commercial, such as condos, apartment complexes, assisted living facilities, even P.O.S.H. Couture Rentals and restaurants.
    Harsin prefers blown-in fiberglass insulation. It fills gaps and cracks well, and doesn’t settle or compress. He has three sub-contractors do the expanding foam insulation.
    Harsin says that insulation is the #1 factor in energy efficiency. The two biggest violators are leaky ductwork and Cam recessed lighting. These lights have holes in the canisters that are recessed into the sheetrock, which allow for hot attic air to enter the living space, making the AC work harder.
    ‘The less the equipment has to run, the longer it’s going to last and the more energy efficient [it] is,” he said.
    Becoming a business owner had some challenges during the early years. Harsin said he went to the “school of hard knocks the first couple of years.”
    “I’m the kind of guy who can do most anything,” Harsin said. But being the boss means, “Ultimately, you’re responsible.” He’s proud of the good reviews he’s gotten on Angie’s List and Home Advisor.
    While kids still roll their eyes at Dad for telling them to shut the windows because the AC is on, all fathers are in the direct line and heritage of none other than Ben Franklin, who taught us that we are to waste not.
    For if we waste not, we will sweat not.
    Harsin Energy Services performs complete energy efficiency audits in the Dallas area. -dsz

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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net