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Duct Sealing or Duck Ceiling?

Duct sealing is crucial to home energy efficiency as most duct systems have leakage of up to 40%.  This means that almost of half of your air conditioned or heated air is being lost before it even gets to you!  Loss of air tends to be more frequent in homes that do not have an air conditioner or furnace located on all floors of the home due to the fact that air has to travel a further distance in ducts to get everywhere it is supposed to.  This problem can be combatted through duct sealing.  There are two main ways to seal ducts:  traditional and Aeroseal.

Traditional Duct Sealing:

When ducts are sealed traditionally, mastic (a paint like substance) or foil tape is used to block holes in the duct work.  This limits the amount of air escaping from the ducts.  Traditional methods can seal off fairly large openings.  However, due to the manual nature of this process only the leaks that the technicians can spot and access are able to be sealed.  This means this is really only effective with exposed duct work.


Aeroseal duct sealing is meant for use with much smaller holes.  The largest hole Aeroseal polymer can fill is 5/8 inch in diameter.  Aeroseal is also meant for leaks that are not clearly visible.  The way this procedure works is that a technician will come to your home and seal off all registers.  They will take the registers off your wall, floor or ceiling and stick a foam rubber in place of it so air does not enter or exit it.  A plastic tube will be connected to the ducts and the Aeroseal polymer will enter through it.  The polymer looks a lot like glue.  The Aeroseal will find the leaks and automatically fill them.  The actual sealing process takes approximately an hour but the entire procedure including preparation and sealing will take a full day.  Aeroseal will stop leaks located inside the walls of your home allowing it to heat and cool more evenly and more efficiently. With this procedure, the leaks do not need to be visible in order to be sealed.  A computer generated chart analysis will show you how much more efficient your home is after the procedure.

Aeroseal is more expensive than traditional duct sealing, but it also seals off more leakage.  With duct sealing there is the potential of rebates from your utility company if you first complete a whole house energy analysis (E3 Energy Efficiency Evaluation) prior to beginning duct sealing work.  After that, the rebates depend on the utility company and the amount that is sealed off.  Whether you choose Aeroseal or traditional sealing, know that either way you will save money on your utility bill.  It is important to find a licensed and insured contractor to complete either of these procedures.

When you hear somebody discussing duct sealing, please realize that they are talking about home improvement and not an interior design mistake.  If you have any questions about duct sealing or E3 evaluations, please contact FLAME!

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