Evolving Applications of Aerosol Sealant

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1 Scopus Citations


Solving the issues facing the residential building industry today requires developing not only new technologies but also new, innovative applications of existing high-performance technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Building America Program is using this approach to develop a low-cost, easy solution for whole-home envelope air sealing. Aerosol sealant is a proven method for sealing ducts quickly and efficiently, especially in hard-to-reach places. This technology, originally developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1994 with support from DOE, seals 70%-90% of duct leaks (LBNL n.d.), saving $600-$850 per year in energy costs for an average household (DOE 2011). A new, innovative application takes this technology out of the duct system and into the conditioned space. Recent Building America projects have validated a method for whole-house air sealing using the aerosol sealant technology. With tighter envelope requirements in new codes and above-code programs, adequately air sealing by hand is more labor-intensive and costly than ever. The aerosol sealing method is designed to eliminate the guesswork and automate this process. The continuous measurement during installation allows builders to dial in the exact air tightness they need to meet their performance goals. Initial field testing shows that this method regularly achieves air leakage levels less than 1 ACH50 as measured by a blower door test. In a current Building America project, the Center for Energy and Environment is performing iterative field tests in 20 homes to identify the optimal integration and sequencing of this method in production home building processes to achieve a lower installation cost than traditional air sealing. This method has the potential to improve quality assurance of envelope sealing and significantly reduce labor costs compared with traditional air sealing approaches.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalASHRAE Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2019 ASHRAE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-73014


  • aerosol sealant
  • air sealing
  • ducts
  • residential buildings


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