Leaky homes and buildings are some of the worst weather disasters, but a startup in Dayton, Ohio is making huge gains in curing the problem. Aeroseal, which seals both air ducts and building envelopes, is now available throughout the United States and 29 countries.
Leaky ducts and walls are the biggest cause of energy wastage in homes. Conventional systems can lose between 25% and 40% of the heating or cooling energy emitted. While new homes are built solidly, older homes are the culprit. Reducing that wasted energy not only lowers costs for consumers, but also reduces emissions associated with energy production, which is a major contributor to climate change. Overall, heating and cooling homes and businesses accounted for 13% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Since the air ducts are always inside the walls, their sealing can be difficult, but this technology does it inside, it works with cables without cutting into the wall.
“What we’ve done is find a way to seal the air ducts in the building envelope without finding a leak,” said Aeroseal CEO, Amit Gupta.
The process is simple, and similar to fixing a flat tire. It starts by compressing the efforts or building envelope with a fan, then it installs micron-size particles, which, as they try to escape the building or any place, automatically stick to the gaps and seal. The particles are made of a harmless, non-flammable emulsion of water and vinyl acetate, according to the company, which adds that these are the same materials found in pacifiers and chewing gum.
Gupta says sealing an average-sized home will cost about $2,500, but says the investment will pay for itself in energy cost savings in four years.
“Everyone should fix this, not only will it make their house more comfortable, they will also make their house healthier because they will not be breathing air from the basement or the attic or between the walls,” added Gupta.
Aeroseal works with major manufacturers such as DR Horton, Lennar and Beazerand middlemen such as Denver-based Thrive.
“We built our brand on energy efficiency, and this is the most foolproof way to get there,” said Gene Myers, CEO of Thrive. “I think that energy use and carbon reduction go hand in hand, and we really focus on carbon reduction in our company.”
Aeroseal has so far raised nearly $30 million in venture capital from the likes of Breakthrough Energy, Energy Impact Partners, Building Ventures and 2150.