Cambridge Housing Authority Turns To Duct Sealing with Aeroseal

I recently learned about a construction project that proves once again that aeroseal duct sealing technology is not only for retrofits. In fact, a growing number of engineers are specifying aerosol-based duct sealing right from the get-go for both new construction and upgrades. Word is starting to spread that aerosealing is quicker, less labor intensive and usually less expensive than manual sealing – especially if you’re trying to meet today’s tighter building codes. I’ve spoken to more than one general contractor who told me that he thinks it’s the only sensible way to go for anyone looking for LEED or Energy Star certification.

In Brief

  • Building: Cambridge Housing Authority construction
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • General Contractor: P.J. Dionne, Wilmington, MA
  • Aeroseal Contractors: Aspen Air Duct Cleaning, Methuen, MA
  • Goal: Meet LEED duct leakage rate of 250 CFM or less
  • Before Aeroseal: Average 900+ CFM of leakage
  • After Aeroseal: Average 40 CFM of leakage
  • Results: Reduced leakage by approximately 95%

Cambridge Housing Authority, Cambridge, MA Duct Sealing Project

The Cambridge Housing Authority was looking to receive LEED certification for a newly constructed housing project they were about to complete. Not only was “energy saving” bragging rights on the line, but they the CHA was expecting to receive thousands of dollars in federal rebate dollars by building to LEED standards.

After manually sealing the new ductwork, TAB testing found that the ductwork, used to ventilate the five-story building’s 40 bathrooms, was leaking at a rate of 900+ CFM. The LEED standards demanded nothing over 250 CFM. So they weren’t even close.

After several failed and costly attempts at resealing the ductwork using mastic, the general contractor decided to give a go-ahead to a new duct sealing solution -one that works from the inside to seal leaks.

The Aeroseal team at Aspen Air Duct Cleaning arrived on a Friday to set up the  equipment and prepare the ductwork. The following Monday, they began and finished the entire project. The end result…a total leakage rate of 47 CFM – well below the allusive 250 mark they were aiming for…and this total included the leakage around the fire damper door access panels. Remove that component from the equation and Aspen actually sealed the ductwork down to about 8 CFM of leakage.

The entire process took two workdays to complete and was conducted while other construction work continued throughout the building. Any concerns over health risks were quickly eliminated after a review the technology’s Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) by the union steward.

So here’s another one for the record books. Faster, cheaper, more effective. Aeroseal – the key to meeting standards and saving energy.


“I’m a 100% believer in the aeroseal process. I wish we had had it specified for the job in the beginning.”

Don Stock
Project Manager
P.J. Dionne

“Initially, there was a lot of skepticism among the building engineers that aeroseal would do the trick – especially when they learned that the sealant doesn’t coat the entire inside of the ductwork but instead, accumulates around the individual leaks. After seeing the results, they are all now believers and big fans of the technology.”

Bob Corsetti
Aspen Duct Cleaning

About Aeroseal Technology

Before/After Aeroseal
  • Developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1994.
  • Research for aeroseal technology was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Aeroseal is the only duct sealant technology that is applied from the inside of the duct system. It is delivered as a non-toxic aerosol mist that seeks out and plugs leaks.
  • Aeroseal has proven to be 95% effective at sealing air duct leaks.

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