Aeroseal is a product that seals small leaks in the ductwork. No attic work is required by the crew to work the equipment. It is monitored by a computer program that tells when the pressure of the ductwork is low enough that most of the leakage has been sealed.

The plus side to Aeroseal is that:

1. It is able to reach inaccessible parts if the attic such as flat roofs.

2. No attic work has to be done.

3. Unlike radiant barrier, it reliably works regardless of how it was installed.

The down sides to Aeroseal are:

1. It does not seal larger leaks, which are the most important leaks you have. Since crews assume all the duct leakage was found and sealed, if they go into the attic, they will not look for large leaks in the ductwork.

2. Aeroseal is not cost effective. It is expensive, usually 3-4 times more expensive than sealing the ductwork by hand. Aeroseal costs starts from $2000 for each air conditioning unit. With the extra money saved by using hand duct sealing, you could have a super insulated attic, a variable speed pool pump or any other energy saving upgrades done. Hand sealing is not as glamorous as the Aeroseal technology but who cares if you are saving thousands of dollars on something that costs the same and no one will ever see?

3. It is easily misunderstandable. If you are not working with Aeroseal everyday, chances are the printout you receive from Aeroseal showing your leakage reduction will look great. But you need an experienced energy auditor to be able to tell you in the first place if you need it or not. Then if you have leaks which are larger than 5/8" which Aeroseal will not be able to close up. Chances are likely that if a company does Aeroseal, they will not train their sales staff and auditors to sell hand duct sealing and will not look for larger gaps in the ductwork.

4. Aeroseal only lasts 10 years according to the Aeroseal website, hand sealing with mastic has a life of 30 years.

In our opinion Aeroseal works effectively for smaller holes and is ideal for flat roof homes. On older homes, Aeroseal just doesn't come close to the effectiveness of hand sealing the ducts because a crew hand sealing will be able to secure the ductwork with metal screws, check the connections and spend a lot more time in your attic, which increases the chances for finding and fixing problems that the auditor did not find during his initial inspection. Aeroseal requires no time in the attic.

Ductwork leakage is caused by one or several of the following reasons: inferior workmanship, torn and missing external duct wrap, improperly installed duct sealants. By properly sealing your ductwork, you are avoiding lost of lost air and money thrown into your attic.

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Comment by Ric Secor on March 22, 2014 at 9:47am

We have done Aeroseal for a year and have seen awesome results that we never achieved with the mastic approach. Our crews do go into the crawlspace and attic prior to sealing (the salesperson has done this too) and this catches 90% of the exposed leaks.

You still  will have cases where a building cavity was used as a return and sometime sheetrock MUST be removed  or a new ducted return installed to get a complete result.

Not uncommon to have jobs down to 1-2% leakage at cfm50 including the furnace or air handler :)

The warranty is 10 years and the technology has been out for almost 20 years.

Comment by Eric Kjelshus on December 11, 2013 at 2:20pm

best way is to fog the ducts and when the mist tops you are done.   Thats old school.

Comment by David Byrnes on December 11, 2013 at 2:00pm
Yes 5/8's is a large gap but the problem is many Aeroseal crews never check the entire run and connections in the attic or take off registers to see them in the first place. I have audited homes with Aeroseal done and generally the duct leakage was low on the supplies but still high on the returns with visible gaps that were never sealed. Aeroseal still requires all the registers be taped off to pressurize the system but you're right, it requires less attic work which makes for a happy crew. I am a little old school in preferring manually sealing but I think the more time spent in the attic, the better, because it gives us the chance to find and fix more problems that may be over looked by a walk through.
Comment by Joe Provey on December 11, 2013 at 1:48pm
Several comments:
*5/8-in. is not a small gap. Bigger ones, unless buried, should be easy to detect.
*In existing construction, sealing ducts with mastic is labor intensive, disruptive, and time consuming.
*I agree with author that $2000 seems steep, but I don't know all the upfront costs dealers incur. Perhaps, as more dealers are introduced, fees will come down. Regardless, improving ducts from 20% leakage to 10% will pay for itself well before the warranty period ends (assumes costs of $3000 for annual heating and cooling).
With regard to warranty, I can find no information stating that Aeroseal becomes ineffective after 10 years. Please supply a source? the fact that the warranty is for 10 years doesn't mean the product will only last that long. Just because a refrigerator has a 5 year warranty, it doesn't mean that it's going to stop working any time soon.
Comment by Daryl Senica on December 5, 2013 at 7:34am

It's hard to determine how long Areo Seal lasts. But when we do a job our techs first check all existing duct work to see if there are any large holes, breaks or if the duct work is damaged then they repair, replace (at additional cost to home owner) and mastic any leaks they find the Aero Seal ten takes care of the rest it works and we have the prof. We have hundreds of very happy homeowners and we never even advertise the service its all word of mouth.

Comment by Eric Kjelshus on December 1, 2013 at 9:31pm

Aeroseal works well on small holes  but the big one I find in wood studs or wood/sheet rock path get to be 2",  Just blows by.   Most returns are to small so is what I do is on air systems is to add a extra filter and drop and run to top floor.   drop the presser on return and will spend less on power, and compresser just last longer

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