New Tools of the TradeBilly Pell
Effective Audit Reporting And Cost Saving Estimating Makes Aeroseal Duct Sealing A No Brainer For Commercial Contractors It’s time to face the facts. The air and ventilation shafts running through your commercial property leak. In fact, recent reports suggest that chances are very good they lose 30% or more of the treated air your clients pay to heat and cool throughout the year. And while duct systems may be hidden behind walls, or above ceiling tiles, it’s not as easy as it used to be to ignore the problem. Thanks to ongoing research and a growing demand within the commercial industry for energy-efficiency, the negative impact that duct leakage has on overall building performance can no longer be discounted. The good news is that new technologies make fixing the problem much easier. It’s no longer necessary to demolish walls or strip off insulation in order to find, access and seal leaks. Thanks to aerosol-based duct sealing technology, duct systems and ventilation shafts running the length of a skyscraper can be effectively sealed – oftentimes in a single afternoon – and without major disruption to the day-to-day operations of the building. But getting the job started is often the hardest part of the process. Before you can begin sealing, you have to convince a long tag-team of folks that sealing is the way to go. Administrators want you to first prove they have a duct leak problem. Building managers want to know how much it will cost. Commissioning agents want to know exactly how much it will save. Engineers need to know exactly how it will work, and then a host of other participants have questions about the process itself – how long will it take, what disruptions will it cause, how safe is the sealant etc. etc. So before the new duct sealing technology can do its job, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and people who need to be convinced. Understanding this reality, the behind-the-scenes team at Aeroseal put together a set of tools that make it easier for you to provide the answers and instill the administrative confidence you need to receive an enthusiastic sign-off on your proposed sealing project.
Step One: Level One ScorecardThe first tool in the set is a level one scorecard – a simple duct leakage assessment aide that can be used by just about anyone to calculate the size and scope of the problem. The scorecard is a single-page survey that walks you through a guided evaluation of your building’s duct system. Complete with sample photos and explanatory descriptors, the scorecard asks you to answer 14 simple questions about your duct system. The answer to each question provides a numerical score. By completing the questions and then adding together the individual scores, you wind up with a final score and a corresponding estimate of leakage. Does your system have a flanged connection? Give yourself 5 points. Does the system include inflated internally insulated air ducts? That’s another 15 points. When complete, if your total score adds up to less than 50 points, your duct leakage score is 7%. 100 points, and your leakage score is 20% or more. Based upon the evaluation and testing of hundreds of duct systems, the level one scorecard provides a surprisingly accurate first assessment of your ductwork and a good indication of whether or not duct leakage is affecting the overall performance of your building. The scorecard provides an effective means of motivating building owners to take the investigation to the next step: the Level One Audit Report.
Step Two: Level One Audit ReportConvincing the decision makers to move forward on any project usually requires the submittal of a plan. The better, more substantial the plan, the better the chances are of receiving buy-off. And after years of creating and submitting plans for proposed duct sealing projects, we’ve gotten a pretty good handle on what a well–accepted plan needs to include. With that knowledge in hand, Aeroseal put together an audit report template that helps ensure the plan submitted to administrators is as powerful as it is complete. The plan begins with a visit. Once the self-administered scorecard reveals potential for duct leakage, an Aeroseal representative will suggest he/she conduct an on-site visual inspection and evaluation of your building’s duct system. During this inspection, the duct sealing expert will take photographs, examine sealing methods and look for evidence that reveals the current condition of the ducts. Armed with this information, a level one audit report will be created and submitted for consideration. With the use of the report template, you can be confident that the information this report contains is both thorough and well documented. Basic components of the level one audit report include:
- An executive summary
- A description of each individual duct system; its condition, its mechanical characteristics and other relevant details.
- An estimate of the amount of duct leakage for each system.
- An estimate of energy savings possible through aerosealing.
- An estimate of payback time.