CONNECTICUT FAMILY ENJOYS LOWER ENERGY BILLS – INCREASED COMFORT
Homeowner Dennis K. had heard that effectively sealing the ductwork of a home could significantly reduce home energy usage but he had no idea that having his 2,600 sq.ft. Beacon Falls home aerosealed could be the best financial investment he made in years.
Dennis called ECS hoping that we could help him reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool his home. He was also hoping that duct sealing would improve the comfort of his house – he told us that he was always struggling to get adequate heat and air conditioned air into all the rooms, both upstairs and down.
We arrived at Dennis home and quickly tested the ductwork for leaks. Like most homes in the U.S. today, we found the leaks in the HVAC system was causing Dennis to lose about 30% of the air he was paying to heat and cool each year. These leaks were not only responsible for wasted energy, but they most assuredly were also responsible for the uneven temperatures he was experiencing.
I explained to Dennis that while he could try to seal the leaks from the outside using special tape or mastic, most of the ductwork is hidden behind walls, under insulation or other hard-to-access locations. So unless he wanted to actually tear down walls to find the leaks, traditional sealing methods simply wouldn’t be effective enough to make much of a difference. I suggested that he consider having ECS seal his ductwork using a new technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy called aeroseal.
Unlike traditional duct sealing, aeroseal works from the inside of the ductwork to seal leaks – I like to describe it as being like Fix-A-Flat for your ducts. By sealing from the inside, the sealant can find and seal all the leaks – even those in the most difficult-to-reach locations.
Dennis agreed that this was the smartest route and we scheduled a time to do the work.
We arrived in the morning and set up the equipment. This involved blocking the registers throughout the home and connecting a big tube from our aeroseal machine to a temporary hole we created in the ductwork. Now, with the registers blocked, when we blow sealant through the tube and into the interior of the ductwork, the only place that air could escape is through the leaks. And that’s exactly how the aeroseal process works. Microscopic particles of sealant and blown into the ductwork where they stay suspended in air until they come in contact with a leak. Here they cling to the edge of the leak and then to other sealant particles until the entire hole is filled.
It took us just a single afternoon to seal the leaks. The computerized reported generated at the end of the process showed that aerosealing reduced the rate of leakage by 97% – from 441 Cubic Feet per minute (CFM) to just 16 CFM.
Dennis told us that he could feel the difference right away. With the heat on, he could feel strong warm air coming out of vents that never seemed very active before.
“Given the data collected from my programmable thermostats, I can visually see that the furnace is NOT cycling on and off as frequently anymore,” Dennis told me. “The change is quite dramatic. My wife – and eternal skeptic – noted that the house has felt warmer and more consistent in temperature and of course more heat is coming through the vents. This is a real tangible evidence that the process works,” he added.
Given his calculations, Dennis expects that by aerosealing his ductwork, he will save about 30% on his annual utility bills – a savings that will pay for the aeroseal work in less than three years – “then all that savings from then on out is simply money in my pocket,” he said.
We find that in most every home in the Connecticut area that we test, leakage rates easily run 20% to 30% or more. If you were losing that much gas out of your tank every time you filled up your car, you’d have that leak repair, right?
If you want to learn more about Aeroseal, please visit the ECS website at www.ecs-aeroseal.com or give me a call at (203) 262-1064. I look forward to talking to you.