Leaky homes and buildings are some of the greatest climate offenders, but a Dayton, Ohio-based start-up is making big gains in shoring up the problem. Aeroseal, which seals both air ducts and building envelopes, is now available across America and in 29 countries.
Leaky airducts and walls are the single largest reason for wasted energy in homes. Typical systems can lose between 25% and 40% of the heating or cooling energy put out. While newer homes are built more tightly, old homes are major culprits. Reducing that wasted energy not only lowers consumers’ bills, but also reduces emissions associated with energy production, which are a significant contributor to climate change. Overall, heating and cooling residences and businesses accounted for 13% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Since air ducts are often inside the walls, sealing them can be difficult, but this technology does it from the inside, working through the ducts without ever cutting into a wall.
“What we have done is we have found a way to seal the air ducts in the building envelope without physically getting access to the leaks,” said Aeroseal CEO Amit Gupta.
The system is relatively simple, and akin to fixing a flat tire. It first pressurizes the ducts or building envelope with a fan, then injects micron-sized particles, which, as they try to escape the building or any space, automatically adhere to the gaps and seals them. The particles are made of a non-toxic, non-flammable emulsion of water and vinyl acetate, according to the company, which adds that these are some of the same ingredients found in pacifiers and chewing gum.
Gupta says sealing the average-sized home would cost about $2,500, but claims the investment will pay for itself in energy cost savings within four years.
“Everybody should fix this. Not only they will make their house comfortable, they will also make their house more healthy because they won’t be sucking in air from attics or from the crawlspace or between the walls,” added Gupta.
Aeroseal is working with big builders like DR Horton, Lennar and Beazer, and midsized builders like Denver-based Thrive.
“We built our brand on energy efficiency, and this is really the most foolproof way to get there,” said Gene Myers, CEO of Thrive. “I think energy efficiency and carbon reduction go hand in hand, and we’re really focused on carbon reduction in our company.”
Aeroseal has so far raised about $30 million in venture capital from the likes of Breakthrough Energy, Energy Impact Partners, Building Ventures and 2150.