Weatherization Test Drives Spray Sealant

November/December 2001
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2001 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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November 01, 2001
New aerosol spray technology can allow weatherization crews to seal even tiny duct leaks in places that are difficult to reach using conventional methods.
        Until recently, duct-sealing methods have not gotten enough attention from building scientists. Aerosol spray sealant offers a relatively new way to seal ducts—one that is becoming commercialized in some parts of the United States (see “Aerosol Spray Technology”).One advantage of this technology is that it reduces diagnostic and repair times, because the location of small leaks does not need to be visually identified, and wall, ceiling, and floor cavities do not need to be opened to gain access to the leaks. Aerosol spray can seal small or unreachable leaks that cannot be sealed in other ways.         Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted a field test during the winter of 1999–2000 to determine the efficacy of advanced duct-sealing technology in housing weatherized by DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).We had three main goals.First,we wanted to know whether we could improve duct leakage reduction by using aerosolbased sealant. Second,we wanted to know how much time and labor might be saved by using this technology. Third,we wanted to know how the technology might be integrated with other work that weatherization crews ...

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