Arizona School District Chooses Aeroseal Duct Sealing Instead of Duct ReplacementAndrew at Aeroseal
Too often people assume they need an air duct replacement when the actual problem is duct leakage that Aeroseal duct sealing can fix.
During a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the Gallego Intermediate School in Tucson, Arizona, contractors removed the existing ceiling tiles to find ductwork in such bad shape that replacing the entire air duct system seemed to be the only option. The building’s HVAC system included 34 individual units, each with its own supply and return ducts, all made of duct board that was literally falling apart at the seams. Some of the air ducts were so bad that they made air duct leakage testing impossible. The cost of new ductwork in this scenario would be significant.
After doing a cost estimate to replace ductwork, the school district couldn’t afford either the estimated $200,000 to replace the existing air duct system. Plus, the school was set to open in three month from the renovation and replacing the ductwork would have taken close to six months (twice that amount of time).
- Building: Gallego Intermediate School, Sunnyside United SD, Tucson, Arizona
- Consulting Contractor: Kelly Wright & Associates
- Aeroseal Contractor: Excel Mechanical, Inc. (GreenSeal)
- Goal: Repair damaged, leaky ductwork within time and budget constraints for school renovation
- Before Aeroseal: 49k CFM of leakage
- After Aeroseal: 8k CFM leakage
- Results: Sealed the entire school air duct system to attain a 5% leakage rate at 25% lower cost than air duct replacement
Faced with an air duct replacement cost that was far too expensive, a consulting engineer working on the project suggested the school consider Aeroseal, an aerosol-based computer-controlled duct sealing technology he had seen featured at a recent industry seminar. The cost of Aeroseal duct sealing was lower than the average cost to replace HVAC ductwork. Aeroseal contractor Excel Mechanical, Inc. (GreenSeal) was called and in just a matter of days, the project was underway.
Given the poor condition of the existing ductwork, the Excel Mechanical crew began reconnecting and repairing the most dilapidated portions of the ductwork using mastic and tape. After hand sealing, air duct testing showed a total leakage rate close to a whopping 49,000 CFM! Aeroseal duct sealing was used after hand sealing to reduce duct leakage more than what mastic/tape could do alone.
It took GreenSeal less than two weeks to seal all 34 air duct systems (both supply and return) using Aeroseal technology. The final results showed total leakage reduced to 8,000 CFM. The school achieved an 85% leakage reduction and the 5% leakage rate it was targeting with more confidence than hand sealing alone. The total cost of Aeroseal was a fraction of the estimate for duct replacement cost and best of all, the school opened on time.
Tom Hubbard, Bond Project Manager, Sunnyside School District: “I think a lot of schools in the district could benefit from this technology. The Aeroseal team was able to work in coordination with all the other contractors on the job, ensuring that we maintained our extremely tight schedule. They also assisted us in securing a rebate from the local utility company that helped us stay within budget on the ductwork sealing cost. In the end, this was an ideal solution to a potentially derailing problem. I look forward to assessing energy savings over the next year or two. In the meantime, we have heard nothing but positive feedback regarding the comfort of those using the new school building.”
Cindy Bova, Energy Project Manager, Sunnyside School District: “When contractors removed the ceiling tiles, they saw that the existing ductwork was in really bad shape. They wanted to replace all of the ductwork but it was simply out of the budget range – and that’s when one of our engineering consultants suggested we look into using Aeroseal as an alternative. The duct sealing cost proved to be much less expensive than replacing the ductwork and it took only a matter of days to complete the job so the school was able to open as scheduled.”
Do a Cost Comparison: Duct Replacement Versus Aeroseal Duct Sealing
If you’re considering costs to replace ductwork, then call your local Aeroseal contractor and get your air ducts tested for leaks first. The cost of Aeroseal duct sealing is typically lower than replacing your entire air duct system.