Meet Allowable Duct Leakage Specifications with Aeroseal

IECC Code Adoption Increases, Year of the Duct Grows

With the 2018 release of the latest International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), building code adoption across the United States has been increasing at regional and local levels. Recently, Architect Magazine highlighted six cities increasing their code adoption:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
  • Columbia, Missouri
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota,
  • Orlando, Florida

Read the full article here.

2018 Year of the Duct Looming Code Changes
2018 Year of the Duct Looming Code Changes

Stricter Codes, Tighter Duct Leakage Specifications

A key aspect of stricter codes is the amount of duct leakage that is allowed in ductwork for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in homes and buildings. Many local municipalities are lowering their allowable duct leakage specifications to the low single-digit percentage points. For example, northern Louisiana is now enforcing a tight 4% allowable leakage rate. 2018 has been a big year for code changes and adoption!

Earlier this year, ACHR News published a story about various codes becoming more strict in 2018 and beyond including the ASHRAE Handbook Fundamentals, ASHRAE 189.1, 2018 Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), IECC 2018, SMACNA Guide to Duct Construction, ASHRAE SPC215, and California Title 24. All of these codes have an interesting thing in common: tighter duct leakage standards and more rigorous duct testing.

Contractors Meet Tighter Specs with No Sweat Using Aeroseal

Recently, a contractor had a problem with meeting allowable duct leakage specifications for an office building in California, and Aeroseal duct sealing helped it meet code with no sweat.

The Problem: “For whatever reason, all of the leakage tests failed,” said Mark Avila, president of Bay Area Balancing (test and balancing firm). “California is now enforcing a 6% leakage rate on commercial buildings, and these ducts weren’t even close. The crew tried to reseal them with more mastic but now that the ducts were installed near the ceiling, getting to all the spots was difficult at best. To make things even more complicated, builders were already framing around the installed ducts, so we couldn’t take them down to do the work. It was chaos.”

Shattuck Building
Shattuck office building was not meeting code for allowable duct leakage specifications. Aeroseal duct sealing helped it meet code.
Aeroseal duct sealing at work
Aeroseal duct sealing is an aerosol-based, computer-controlled duct sealing technology. It's more effective than hand sealing alone.

The Solution: Using the aerosol-based sealing technology, Avila guaranteed the contractor that his team could do the job in a matter of hours rather than weeks. “No one on the crew had heard of Aeroseal duct sealing and it’s sometimes difficult to convince people to try something new,” said Avila. “One concern was that the sealant would completely coat the inside of the ductwork. We showed them examples of Aerosealed ductwork and photos of past projects to prove the sealant accumulates almost exclusively in and around the leaks themselves. Based upon the information we gave them – and the fact that time was running out – they decided to give aeroseal a try.”

The Results are Game-Changing!

Before/After Aeroseal
These photos show ductwork before and after being sealed with Aeroseal.

“The results were immediate,” said Art Vegas of Arves Mechanical, the mechanical contractors on the project. “I particularly liked the fact that we didn’t have to guess whether or not we got the leaks. The computerized sealing process showed us the results as the sealing was in progress. The documentation that the system created when we were done provided the immediate proof we needed for the city inspector. There was no need to guess – no need to retest.”

Are you a builder? Find a residential Aeroseal dealer or commercial service provider near you to help meet new home and building construction codes for ductwork airtightness.

Are a contractor? We’d love to chat with you how Aeroseal can help you meet codes for HVAC ductwork better than hand sealing (e.g. mastic/tape). Call us 877-349-3828, email us, or leave a comment below.

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