Airways recently completed an Aeroseal® project on the kitchen and bathroom exhaust ductwork of an apartment building that was being converted into a senior living facility.
The building was built in the early 1900s. It had over 800 feet of horizontal exhaust ductwork and four exhaust fans serving 42 kitchen and bathroom exhaust risers in a vented attic space. The ductwork was very dirty, and suffered from leaks large and small. The large leaks were in the attic, where at some point the ductwork had been stepped on, causing large gaps. As with any exhaust system, the smaller, more common leaks were spread throughout the ductwork, some of them difficult to detect and/or difficult or impossible to access, such as leaks in chases.
The total leakage in the system was at 12,824 cubic feet per minute (CFM). This meant that:
- The leaks in the attic were short-circuiting the designed exhaust system, drawing attic air into the ductwork and promptly blowing it out of the building
- The kitchens and bathrooms were not getting the air draw that they required to adequately exhaust their air, particularly on the lower floors
- The fans were using more energy than needed to get the results they were getting
The Airways team repaired the large gaps in the attic, cleaned the ductwork, and then used the Aeroseal® process to seal the system. The leakage rate at the end of the process, which took seven days counting the cleaning and the sealing, was down to 633 CFM, a reduction of 95% which dramatically reduced all of the problems noted above.
Aeroseal® can be very impactful on supply and return ducts as well as exhausts. If you think it might be helpful in your building, give us a call.