Restrict Airflow Between Apartments

A photo of ductwork between walls in a building

Research conducted by Steven Winter Associates

Key Takeaways

  • An experienced team of two people can likely aeroseal three to four apartments per day to a very tight level.
  • Materials for setup and sealing may total $100–$200 per apartment.

Executive Summary

Air sealing of building enclosures can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Typical industry practice requires laborers to physically locate small (and sometimes large) holes and then manually seal each one. Aerosol sealants have been used commercially to seal ductwork for more than 15 years with much success, most notably through the Aeroseal brand name and network of contractors. The process can typically seal 80%–90% of gaps and cracks in ductwork without having to manually locate the leaks. In a new construction multifamily building in Queens, New York, the aerosol process resulted in an average reduction of 71% in air leakage across three apartments and took an average of less than 2 hours each. This research was conducted by Steven Winter Associates and other partners through the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings and was prepared for The National Renewable Energy Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program.

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