Sealing a longtime problem
Ventilation shaft remediation can now be effectively accomplished without the demolition or disruptions associated with traditional sealing methods. Photo courtesy of Aeroseal
With 2017 in full swing, companies around the world are advancing their sustainability strategies.
Whether its introducing new products, revamping old ones or instituting new processes, green practices – and growing interest in the approach – are dictating the way more and more businesses operate.
Just ask Aeroseal.
The company that makes an aerosol-based duct sealing technology expects its product to be in more widespread use as knowledge of its benefits, ease of use and immediate impact on leaky ducts are increasingly familiar to those throughout the industry.
Amit Gupta And Neal Walsh, CEO and senior vice president of Aeroseal, respectively, spoke recently about what lies ahead for the company.
PGB: What will have the greatest impact on the green and sustainable building industry in 2017, particularly as it relates to indoor air quality?
AG: We are seeing an increased awareness and attention being paid to the role that duct systems play in overall HVAC efficiency. Heating and cooling a building represents one of the largest uses of energy in the U.S. today. For years now, builders and building contractors interested in green building have invested in energy-efficient furnaces and air conditioners, but without adequate attention paid to the air delivery system (the ductwork), that efficiency is typically lost through leaks in the ducts.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average U.S. building loses 20 to 30 percent of treated air through these leaks.
With the introduction of aerosol-based duct sealing – an innovative approach to duct sealing where leaks are automatically found and sealed from the inside – it is now possible to quickly and easily seal entire duct systems. The computer-controlled duct sealing equipment measures results as they happen and provides accurate reporting of the before and after results.
As a result, duct systems in existing homes and buildings can now be retrofitted without the expensive demolition and disruptions associated with traditional duct sealing. Aeroseal technology represents the first viable method of repairing leaky ventilation shafts for energy efficiency and improved IAQ.
In new buildings, aeroseal technology allows engineers and contractors to guarantee that newly installed duct systems will provide the efficiency that the HVAC system is designed to deliver.
PGB: What impact will your business have on green and sustainable building in 2017?
NW: Aeroseal LLC is dedicated to providing technologies and services that support green building. We are the sole owner and licensee of aeroseal duct sealing technology. We expect our technology will be used to seal tens of thousands of homes and buildings in the coming year, saving billions of dollars in lost energy.
Our sister company, Comfort Institute, is a leading provider of research and training that advocates a whole-building approach to building performance. In 2017 we expect to train and support hundreds of building contractors in their efforts to maximize energy efficiency of their work.
Toward the end of this year, Aeroseal LLC is planning to introduce another breakthrough technology designed to further advance the energy efficiency of buildings. Aerobarrier technology leverages the concepts used in our aerosol-based duct sealing technology to provide a single-step approach to complete building envelope sealing. This new approach to envelope sealing is expected to transform the way homes and buildings are constructed.
PGB: How is the progress of green and sustainable building in 2016 helping make the work you do an easier sell to clients and potential clients? Are clients becoming more accepting/understanding of the approach and realizing its value?
AG: If you were to ask building professionals five years ago to list best practices for ensuring maximum energy efficiency in their work, they would have most likely included such activities as insulating, upgrading windows and installing energy-efficient HVAC units. Though research showed that sealing duct work is one of the most effective thing that can be done to save energy, duct sealing would not have been on most lists.
That is changing. In the past year alone, professional (and consumer) awareness of the role that effectively sealed ducts play in overall sustainable buildings has grown significantly. This can be seen not only in the increased consumer demand for duct sealing services, but also in ever tightening building codes for allowable duct leakage, evolving programs from the EPA and others that now include the importance of duct sealing, and an increase in utility rebates being offered for duct sealing investments – all of which would not have been viable prior to the availability of aerosol-based duct sealing technology.
PGB: How is achievement and growing interest in commercial green and sustainable practices among those around the world changing the way your business operates in 2017?
NW: When we began operations six years ago, a majority of our energy was focused on education and awareness: elevating the importance of duct sealing for energy efficiency, and convincing HVAC professionals, engineers and others that duct sealing and ventilation remediation can now be an effective accomplished to achieve higher energy efficiency. Today, interest in green building, and awareness of the role that duct leakage plays in overall building performance, has shown a spotlight on aeroseal technology and created growing demand for its use in both existing and new construction projects.
Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation