Programs such as ENERGY STAR Homes, the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, and Indoor airPLUS all require the use of HVAC Quality Installation Training and Oversight Organization (H-QUITO) certified HVAC contractors. In fact, any other Home Certification Program that uses ENERGY STAR as a pre-requisite will have the same challenge. This said, the H-QUITO requirement is designed to apply only to central air source heating systems (traditional gas furnaces and air source heat pumps).
In December 2016, the DOE released an update to assist builders, Raters, and contractors in determining which projects might be exceptions to the requirement. The update offers the following clarification:
HVAC contractors must be credentialed by an EPA-recognized HVAC Quality Installation Training andOversight Organization (H-QUITO) if a split air conditioner, unitary air conditioner, air-source heat pump, or water-source (i.e. geothermal) heat pump up to 65 kBtuh with a forced-air distribution system (i.e., ducts) or a furnace up to 225 kBtuh with a forced-air distribution system (i.e., ducts) will be installed in the home to be certified. For all other permutations of equipment (e.g., boilers, mini-split / multi-split systems) and distribution systems, a credential is not required