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Job completed for 2 Storied Home Owner

Completion date: November 30, 2013

Location: Ontario, NY

Why did the customer contact us?

The client indicated that the den over the 2-car garage was always colder than the rest of the house in the winter. Additionally, she wanted to reduce her heating bills and noted that, for the last few years, large icicles had built up on the eaves above the back deck during the winter. The 1200cfm furnace (no a/c unit) was located in the unfinished section of the basement.

Solutions provided:

Before we pressurized either duct system, we noted that many of the overhead ducts in the basement had not been fastened with screws (as they should have been during installation) and remedied that.

When we pre-tested (system pressurized, no sealant injected) the supply system, we immediately felt air leakage blowing on us from the overhead ducts and noticed several fluttering cobwebs; there were several sizable holes at junctions and taps which we caulked to bring the leakage down to 250cfm – still >20% of capacity. Aerosealing took ~20 minutes of spray time, reduced the final leakage in the supply system to 24cfm – a whopping 90% reduction (even after we had manually sealed several large holes), and stopped the fluttering cobwebs.

The return system was largely unducted, utilizing the cavities within the walls of the house to draw air from the rooms back to the furnace. This design is inherently fraught with leaks between the drywall and the supporting wooden framing, and from holes in the framing where electrical wires are run… and can be difficult to seal. Initial leakage in the return system was 255 cfm. During the pre-test, we noticed substantial air flow – leakage – around the boots of several of the supply registers – confirmation of just how leaky the return system was. After caulking and foaming around the supply boots, we initiated Aerosealing and, after ~65 minutes, were able to reduce return side leakage to <100 cfm – a 61% reduction.

A before-and-after comparison of the supply register temperatures (while the furnace was running) is shown in the plot below. While there was little change in the temperatures of the first floor registers, the second floor register temperatures were increased by an average of 7F, including increases of 15F and 21F in the two registers in the den – the perennially cold room noted by the client. The net effect was to substantially equalize the register temperatures throughout the home.

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