The Next Big Thing for Contractors: Automated RNC Duct SealingBilly Pell
Originally, when researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) were first commissioned to find an alternative to traditional duct sealing methods, their initial focus was on existing homes (e.g. retrofits). More recently, Aeroseal (as seen on This Old House with Kevin O’Connor) is becoming a proven choice for residential new construction (RNC), especially for meeting codes in IECC adoption.
While the advantages of aerosol-based duct sealing are particularly evident for renovation projects where accessing the ductwork is often difficult at best, a new wave of contractors is now proving the technology to be equally advantageous for use in new home building projects as well. To be sure, one of our dealers decided to test Aeroseal versus manual sealing (e.g. tape, mastic) in new construction.
“There are a number of factors currently driving the use of aeroseal in new construction…tightening building specifications…rising consumer demand for energy efficient homes.”
Amit Gupta, CEO, Aeroseal
One home was sealed using mastic/tape. The other home was sealed using Aeroseal.
The two homes had identical specs: 2-story, 2850 sq. ft., 17 supply registers, 10 return, metal duct work, 100,000 BTU gas furnace system (90%), 4-ton AC system. Furthermore, the homes’ code requirements for duct tightness were the same too: 2012 IECC-4 cfm/100 sq. (114 CFM).
Long story short, Aeroseal won hands-down! The results of the new construction sealing for each home are shown below:
|Metrics||Home #1 (Mastic/Tape)||Home #2 (Aeroseal)|
|Man-Hours||45 (3 people, 1.5 days)||8 (2 people, 0.5 day)|
|Results||124 CFM||21 CFM|
|Pass Test / Meet Target||NO||YES|