In The News — Aeroseal Wins DDA Award

AEROSEAL WINS SILVER IN THE NEWS’ DDA AWARDS FOR 2014

DDA_SILVER_2011There was a singular mission in mind when the Aeroseal engineers began designing the new HomeSeal duct sealing system. Everything they did was focused on making residential duct sealing service so convenient to provide, easy to do, and affordable to add, that offering duct sealing service would be a no-brainer for any profit-minded HVAC-related business. So it’s with particular pride that Aeroseal received the 2014 ACHR News Dealer Design Award, a prize specifically recognizing innovative product designs destined to have a real impact on the HVAC industry.

Only released at the end of last year, the HomeSeal system has already helped more than a hundred HVAC companies across the country add home-performance duct sealing to their list of customer services. Given the increased demand for home energy savings and the growing awareness of the role duct sealing plays in home comfort, HomeSeal has become, for many, a real profit generator.

“When we install a new heating or cooling system or visit a customer for maintenance and repair, more often than not, the conversation leads to issues regarding heating/cooling savings and indoor comfort,” said Doug Beiser of Hader Heating and Cooling, Cincinnati, OH. “As a licensed Aeroseal dealer, I can now offer a real energy-savings solution that sets us apart from our competitors and places our business squarely in the home energy efficiency improvement market.”

As the Dealer Design Award highlights, the HomeSeal system represents a real industry game-changer. The newly designed duct sealing equipment is now easier to set up and operate. Individual components are now integrated and pre-assembled in a single portable carrying case that can be easily transported from the truck to inside the home. The computer-controlled system walks the technician through the process and automatically generates a final report highlighting the results of the duct sealing work.

The advanced design and new features of the HomeSeal system were judged by a panel of independent contractors to standout among the nearly 100 entries in the Dealer Design competition and earned HomeSeal the silver award in the HVAC High Efficiency Residential Equipment category.

“These awards give us a unique opportunity to recognize the outstanding research and development efforts that go into many of the products serving the HVACR industry, and the awards issue gives our readers an opportunity to read about innovative installation and service solutions,” said News Publisher Mike Murphy.

HomeSeal, along with the other winning entries in the competition were featured in the July 21, 2014 issue of The ACHR News, which is distributed nationally to over 33,000 HVACR contractors, wholesalers, and other industry professionals.

ON THE JOB — MT. ZION HOSPITAL

AEROSEAL REVS UP STALLED USP 797 UPGRADE PROJECT AT MT. ZION HOSPITAL

on-the-job-MT-ZION-HOSPITALEngineers were looking back at a long, costly delay filled with head scratching and brainstorming. It had now been two long months of trying to explain why the new pharmacy construction assignment was derailed and why finding a viable solution to a critical exhaust issue was holding up a project slated to be finished in just a matter of days.

Across the country, hospital pharmacies like the one at UCSF Medical Center at Mt. Zion are undergoing upgrades to meet new Federal USP 797 regulations. Designed to cut down on health risks associated with the drug manufacturing that takes place in many hospital pharmacies, USP 797 includes, among other things, tight guidelines concerning adequate exhaust. In the case of Mt. Zion hospital, the upgrade project included the installation of two new exhaust hoods – and that is where the problem resided.

The exhaust hoods are standalone, self-enclosed workstations where health professionals formulate chemo drugs and other pharmaceuticals. During the installation process, each hood was connected to a rooftop exhaust fan via a system of twisting ductwork that leads from the top of each hood, across the ceiling of the pharmacy, out to a long piece of vertical duct attached to the side of the building and up to the roof. Since the proper exhaust of these workstations is so critical, the system includes a safety feature that shuts the unit off if the amount of exhausted air ever reaches below a certain level.

During the initial installation, the contractors manually sealed the entire length of ductwork using tape and mastic. Then it was all fire wrapped with special insulation for additional protection.

“When the construction was completed, we turned on the exhaust and immediately saw that we had a problem,” said Rick Schaffel, project manager with TCB Builders of San Francisco. “Each of the two units required somewhere around 750 CFM of exhaust to function properly and we were getting levels closer to 550 CFM. It was clear that leaks in the ductwork were a huge issue and needed to be fixed. But how?”

That’s when the two months of head scratching began. First, the contractors unwrapped the entire length of ductwork and manually re-sealed as best they could. They rewrapped and tested with little change in results. They tried to adjust the fan and make other mechanical modifications, all to no avail.

“We really were at a standstill,” said Robert Gaderlund, the project manager with UCSF Medical Center. “We looked at all the various options available and came up short. We found ourselves in an “I don’t know” position. Then one of our consultants working nearby learned about our predicament and suggested we look into this new duct sealing technology called Aeroseal, that works from the inside to seal leaks.”

Initial research determined that the technology and process was safe, even in a hospital setting. So, with little time to spare, the medical center approved the use of Aeroseal and the folks from Coast Environmental were called in to do the job.

“Given the time they already spent researching and trying other methods, they really didn’t have additional time to test Aeroseal,” said Adrian Welsh of Coast Environmental, “They just went on the advice of their consultant. The new pharmacy was scheduled to open in a couple of weeks and the project needed to be finished ASAP. So we went to work.”

The actual aeroseal sealing project was divided into two sections: the outside vertical riser connecting to the roof, and the indoor section leading directly to the exhaust hoods. Once the aeroseal equipment was temporarily attached to the ducts, it took just 20 minutes to seal the first section and another 20 minutes to seal the second. It took just minutes after the sealing process was completed to test the system and find that Aeroseal worked.

“Our engineers had struggled to get the leakage rate down to around 30% and Aeroseal got it down to less than 5%,” said Gaderlund. “It was so fast and easy. If we knew about this technology earlier, there would have been a lot less sleepless nights.”

The printout of the reports created by the Aeroseal system documented the specifics. Before the sealing was done, the two units showed 580 CFM of leakage. After aeroseal, leakage stood at 23 CFM – a 96% leak reduction. Now the exhaust system worked like a charm and the project was stamped “completed and approved.”

“I know of a lot of other hospitals that are facing similar issues,” said Gaderlund. “Whether it’s upgrades in accordance with USP 797, or simply general concern with maintaining proper indoor air quality, proper exhaust and ventilation is critical in a medical setting. If duct leaks are a problem, Aeroseal has proven to be the ideal solution.”

Marketing Tips — GET A BOOST FROM BLOGGING

GET A BOOST FROM BLOGGING – 10 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Marketing-TipsA lot of businesses spend a considerable amount of time and money creating a customer-friendly website, but then fall short on the follow through – making sure that site attracts visitors and that visitors are turned into customers. Blogging can be a relatively easy way to accomplish both of these goals. If done right, a blog can help ensure people find your site and it can offer valuable ways to help you close the deal.

Blogging for SEO
Perhaps the most important acronym in business websites is SEO, or “search engine optimization.” SEO is all about hedging the odds that those looking on the Internet for your type of products and services, find you. There is only room enough for a handful of links on the first page of search results and blogging can help ensure that one of those links goes to your website.

By regularly posting new content on your website’s blog, you are telling the search engine that your website is relevant and includes fresh content – a very important factor in determining page ranking. If you add a blog post about the latest duct sealing research, for instance, chances are very good that someone in your neighborhood searching for information about duct sealing research will find a link to that post. In turn, that post will expose them to the rest of your site.

Blogging for customer loyalty
Just like a newspaper or magazine, blogging, by nature, includes new content that gives visitors a reason to return for more. The more interesting and relevant you make that content, the more likely people are to return. The more they return, the more apt they are to call you when they need the types of services you offer.

There are other things to consider when blogging – ways to maximize your blog’s value as a sales and marketing tool. Here are several tips for you to consider when looking to maximize the effectiveness of your blog.

1.    Post regularly:  As valuable as a blog can be, if not properly maintained, a blog can also chase potential new customers away. Nothing says “we’re not paying attention” or “we don’t care” as a website blog where the latest post dates back months or even years. On the other hand, a blog with lots of current posts provides visitors with a strong impression that your company is active, vibrant and engaged.

Regular posting also builds loyalty. If you’ve got interesting content on a regular basis, chances are good that your audience will come back for more. How regular is regular? Some will tell you that you need to post daily – others say weekly. But these are people who blog for a living.  If you are trying to build a growing audience, research shows that bloggers who post more than once a week added subscribers over twice as fast as those companies that added content once a month. A lot of businesses have found great success through bi-monthly posting. This seems to be enough to keep the content fresh and to drive visitor interest. Remember, the more you post, the fresher the content, and the more value the post will be for SEO.

2.    Envision your audience: Who are you trying to reach? Homeowners? Commercial property owners? Other HVAC professionals or energy auditors? While there is some overlap in interest, the type of information you provide and the way you present it may be very different for these different groups. Choose one audience and work on building loyalty among this target.

3.    Be yourself. Try to let your personality show through in your posts. People are much more interested in following “people” then following websites. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to write as yourself then as “the professional.”  Your persona doesn’t have to be yourself…it can be your company. Perhaps you can find a handful of employees at your company who would like to share the responsibility of posting. Decide the personality of your company and let it shine through.

4.    Be brief. You really don’t need to write essays. Try to keep it in the 1 to 2 minutes reading-time length. Not only does this make your job easier, but it will also prove more inviting for your readers.

5.    Use great visuals. People like illustrative pictures and graphs. These days it’s easier than ever to take a picture, so have your iPhone ready and take a snapshot at a tradeshow or during a duct sealing project.  How about a selfy with you and your happy customer right after the completion of an aeroseal job? An ongoing series of these photos can say more about customer satisfaction than all the words in the dictionary!

6.    Keywords. If you’re using your blog to help with SEO, think about the type of words your target audience would use to find you on the Internet. Is it simply duct sealing? Is it home comfort? Is it duct leaks in Poughkeepsie?  Then use those terms throughout the content of your blog post (don’t over do it though – keep it natural). There is a variety of free keyword tools available that can help you find the best ones to use. Check out Google’s Keyword Planner.

7.    Find topics of interest. Once you’ve determined your target audience, think about their issues of interest. If you’re hoping to attract family homeowners, you may want to write about staying warm during the final episode of 24. If you’re targeting energy auditors, you may consider sharing an article you found at Green Build Expo. It’s always good to tie in to current events – the regional heat wave, the local fun run or the Black Keys concert coming to town.

8.    Offer specials. A blog is a great place to offer coupons or mention summer specials. You don’t want to turn your blog into one big ad for your company, but it can be an ideal location for your customers to learn about a new product or to download a coupon. It’s also a great place to ask for email addresses. An invitation to your visitors to “get the latest information” by leaving their email can be an invaluable source for future lead generation.

9.    Guest bloggers. You don’t have to write all the blogs yourself. Invite guest bloggers to contribute posts as well. It could be a happy customer talking about their experience or a city official who just observed the sealing of a government building.

10.     Testimonials and referrals. Referrals can be the life-blood of future business. Ask for permission to post letters of recommendation or other positive customer feedback.

These days, creating a blog is getting easier. While you may want to find someone with experience to help, there are templates available, made for non-coders, that can be customized and up and running in no time. In most cases, posting to the blog is even easier. Building a following takes time, though we often have great success in seeing quick SEO results from our blog postings.  Most importantly, have fun and write about topics of sincere interest. Couple that with the basic tips provided here and you’ll be off to a good start in a marketing strategy with huge ROI.

DEALER SPOTLIGHT — Frederick Air


Do It Right – And They Will Come

dealer-spotlight-frederick-airSteve Schmidt, president of Frederick Air, doesn’t devote much attention to sales goals. Ever since he first opened up shop in Frederick, Maryland twenty-plus years ago, his primary concern has focused instead on providing the best possible customer service and HVAC solutions he can. He figures that if you can succeed in doing just that, sales and profits will follow. He seems to be right.

In last month’s issue of the Aeroseal Insider, we shared the news that Frederick Air had just been named the 2014 Bryant Dealer of the Year. Over the past two decades Frederick Air has grown from an original team of one man and his truck to a current staff of more than twenty-seven. Revenues have grown by a factor of forty. Its lone company truck has turned into a fleet of 18 vehicles and its number of service calls is through the roof.  By all measurements, the company is doing something very right.

“Our mission statement clearly states that our goal is to achieve excellence,” said Steve. “Excellent service, excellent skills and excellent solutions to our customers’ problems. That is how we have continued to meet and beat sales goals.”

Steve knows that his drive towards excellence will never be finished. When a local competitor beat Frederick Air in last year’s Bryant competition, Steve didn’t simply raise the bar for his sales staff. He and his team continued to look for new ways to improve service and support.

One improvement they recently implemented changed the way customers are greeted on the phone. Until recently, the sales team was responsible for taking incoming calls and setting appointments. Since they are often out in the field or busy taking care of other customers, that first call often required one or two call- backs before the connection was actually made.  Now Frederick has someone other than sales to answer the phone and set the appointments. The customer gets immediate service and it takes just a single phone call to schedule a home visit.

“It’s not just a receptionist who answers the phone,” said Steve. “ It’s a knowledgeable HVAC expert who can provide immediate answers–not a salesman who needs to cut the conversation short in order to run out to a sales meeting. The customer gets the attention he or she deserves right from the start.”

Another recent change involves improvements to the closing process. Thanks to a custom software program that was developed in-house, the sales person can now easily generate a professional customer contract right from the home. The program does all the calculating that previously required a trip back to the office to complete.

“Before concluding that first home visit, we can generate a detailed, professional contract complete with our logo and contact information, as well as all the information about the work and details regarding the costs involved,” said Steve. “It looks as good as anyone else’s proposal and it can be signed electronically by the customer right on the spot.”

There have been other significant changes to the business over the years. Perhaps most significantly, Frederick Air has evolved from its original focus on offering HVAC equipment to now providing complete energy auditing services. The company became BPI-certified and added energy-saving Aeroseal duct sealing expertise to its portfolio of services.

Frederick Air was the first business in the area to offer Aeroseal duct sealing. Before then, the company would carefully install new equipment, sealing what they could by hand. Still, there was really nothing they could do about the leaks in 98% of the ductwork that had no access. Then, they learned about Aeroseal.

“It only took a single demo and we immediately saw the benefits of this solution,” said Steve. “It was clearly a sensible addition to the services we already provided and it opened up an entirely new opportunity for us to offer expertise in home performance.”

And that was the beginning of a much more significant change for Steve and Frederick Air.

“The world is changing,” said Steve. “If someone asks me today what we do, I’d say we are a home performance business – not an air conditioning company. That’s because my real goal is not simply to sell an air conditioning unit or a furnace, but to make sure my customers are comfortable in their home – and that can include a variety of things.”

While the industry-wide switch from traditional HVAC focus to home performance is happening, Steve says the change for many of the other HVAC shops in the area is coming slowly, and that has been a real competitive advantage for Frederick Air.

“Most of our competition doesn’t get it,” said Steve. “That’s been a real advantage for us. When we make a house call to a customer that has a broken air conditioner, we explain that comfort in their home requires an A/C that works, but it also requires a house that holds the treated air and a duct system that can distribute it properly. We say, ‘You called about your air conditioner – but do you want to talk about all three?’”

This penchant for providing customers with the information they need to make an informed decision is another example of Frederick Air’s focus on customer service excellence. It also sheds light on its marketing strategy. While the company is happy to assist any homeowner looking for HVAC assistance, its target customers are those looking for energy efficiency and not simply concerned with getting the lowest price.

“A lot of what we do falls into the category of education,” said Steve. “We may get a call from someone asking about a replacement furnace, but when they understand the importance of a healthy system as a whole, they are more apt to test and service that entire system. In the end, they are much happier with the results and more likely to refer others to Frederick Air.”

In fact, much of Frederick’s marketing success is based upon referrals and personal relationship building. A quick look at the company’s website highlights Steve’s commitment to the local community.  He not only serves on a variety of education boards and committees, but he also plays an active and visible role in neighborhood action groups – from the local Boys and Girls Club and the Heartly House (an end to domestic violence) to serving as chairman of the Frederick-area Career & Technology Center Advisory Council and the local Care Net Pregnancy Center. Frederick Air is also the sponsor of various community organizations, including two little league baseball teams.  Like his focus on excellence at the office, his involvement with the community is not driven by sales success…but it happens.

“Over the years, people have come to know and trust me. They know I am an active member of the community and they have come to understand that Steve Schmidt and his business is going to make it right,” said Steve.

That personal touch translates to other marketing efforts. Frederick air runs radio advertisements over four different stations. Steve is the voice of each ad himself.  He never expected his name to be associated so closely with the business, but for the first five years, he ran every service call himself. Then people started expecting him to show up at the door. Even today, Steve makes a point of showing up at  least one job a week, just to make sure everything is going as it should. Homeowner reaction is positive to say the least.

Along with radio advertising, Frederick Air uses social media and SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to extend the value of referrals. A software program called Demand Force connects his accounting functions with automatic emails to customers thanking them for their patronage and asking them to “tell a friend.”

So while Steve and his team at Frederick Air don’t dwell much on specific sales goals, they do speak, act and breathe customer service and excellence — always looking for improvements, always watching trends, and always looking to provide real customer solutions. Frederick Air was one of the first businesses to add Aeroseal duct sealing to its offerings and it was one of the first HVAC businesses to understand the profound changes taking place in an industry being redefined by the growing demand for total home performance. With that said, sales and profits may not be a top priority for Steve and his team, but it’s certainly become their reality.

ON THE JOB — Hyundai

Aeroseal Keeps Hyundai’s New U.S. Headquarters On Track

On_The_Job_IIYears of planning. More years of construction. And now finally, the countdown to the official opening of the new $200 million Hyundai U.S. headquarters was just weeks away. In fact, furniture was being delivered to the brand new Fountain Valley, California facility and employees were preparing for the move.

“Then it all came to a screeching halt when we tested the smoke exhaust shafts,” said Glumac engineer Brian Berg. “Code requirements specified that we could not have leakage rates above 5% but we found that each of the four shafts were leaking at least 5 times that amount. Until we could fix the problem and get sign off on the project, we were at a standstill.”

The four shafts were designed to play a critical role in the event of a fire in the 6-floor 500,000 square foot building.  Each of the vertical shafts was located in one of the four corners of the building. If there ever was a fire, the smoke would be drawn out of the facility via fans connected to the top of each shaft. Excessive leaks in those shafts, however, would easily render them useless – like trying to draw water up a straw that has holes in it. No matter the amount of fan power, getting that smoke up through the shafts and outside the building would be impossible.

“This was a real show stopper,” said Bob Evans, the senior project manager on the job. “We couldn’t proceed without getting those shafts to perform within specification. We spent a lot of time in discussion trying to identify the best course of action.”

There were few options available for review. They could tear through the recently completed drywall construction of each vent and start all over, or they could try to seal the current structures. Most of the leaks were due to piercings in the shaft walls made by steel beams, plumbing and other obstructions.  It didn’t appear that adequate sealing was going to be an easy task.

One possible approach involved cutting holes in the bottom of each of the 8’ x 6’ x 63’ shafts and erecting a scaffold on the inside. Then a crew would climb up and down the length of the 6-story scaffold, spraying the entire interiors of the shafts with a foam sealant.

“There were several big problems with this approach,” said Berg. “First was the cost. It was estimated that the price tag for this fix was somewhere between $750,000 and 1,000,000. But that was the least of it. The biggest issue was that this would take months to complete and we just didn’t have that time. The building was scheduled to open in a matter of weeks and it was made clear that we had to meet that deadline. And even if we were to finished in time, we had no assurance that manual sealing like this would be effective enough to get us within code.”

It was then that someone from Glumac suggested looking at Aeroseal. Someone at Glumac had used the duct sealing technology on a similar project in Las Vegas.

“I was really skeptical at first,” said Evans. “I had never heard of Aeroseal before and it sounded like one of those ‘miracle products’ that slices and dices and does everything you need. It was hard to believe the promises. Then I saw some articles about Aeroseal being used elsewhere and thought it was worth a try.”

So Jim Nugent and his team at Aeroseal West Coast were brought in for a trial project. They blocked off a small portion of one of the vents and let Aeroseal do its thing. Twenty minutes later, the trial run was completed and testing showed the sealing process worked. Jim got the go ahead to aeroseal the entire four shafts.

“Suffice it to say, the building opened on time,” said Berg. “Aeroseal West Coast sealed all four smoke exhaust shafts and another larger return shaft in just a few days. Since the Aeroseal process includes a pre and post measurement of leakage, we knew right away that this was going to be a successful effort.”

A third party TAB (test and balance) company was brought in to verify what the Aeroseal readings indicated. The process sealed each of the shafts well within necessary specifications. A shaft that was leaking 4,326 CFM before Aeroseal was now leaking only 115 CFM – or 0.6 percent. Similar results were obtained for the other three shafts.

“Not only did Aeroseal get the job done effectively and within the short timeframe we had,” said Evans, “but the cost for Aerosealing was about what we estimated it would cost us just for the scaffolding on the other option. Needless to say I was quite happy with the results and I’m now another Aeroseal believer.”

THE STATE OF THE STATES

Closing The Gap On Every State In The Country

State_of_the_StatesHawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Maine and Wyoming.

That’s it.  We are sooo close. Only ten states to go and Aeroseal will have at least one service provider in every state in the country.  In fact, we are so excited about reaching our all-states milestone that we’re pulling out the stops to make it happen – and that could be worth $10,000 to our next new partner.

If you are a duct cleaner or an HVAC professional in one of the ten states remaining on our target list, then you will definitely want to join us July 9th for a webinar developed just for you. You will learn how Aeroseal provides the easiest entry into the fastest growing segment of the evolving HVAC industry.  You’ll hear about other businesses just like yours that have turned a sluggish economy into a period of business growth. And you’ll learn about all of the equipment, tools, training and ongoing support you’ll receive as a new Aeroseal dealer.

And just to sweeten the pot, all webinar attendees from any one of the ten target states will have a chance to win $10,000 off the purchase price of an Aeroseal system. Best of all, you won’t have to wait months for the results or search through website pages to see who won the prize. The drawing will be held immediately following the Q&A session at the conclusion of the webinar.

So if you’re an HVAC expert, duct cleaner, energy auditor or related professional looking for business opportunity in any one of the ten states listed above, now is the time to act.

Join us:
Wednesday, July 9th at 1:30 pm EST.

To hold your spot and enter the drawing, Click here for reservations.

DEALER RECOGNITION

Aeroseal Dealer Frederick Air Awarded 2014 Dealer Of The Year

Dealer_RecognitionIt’s official. Frederick Air of Maryland has been named the 2014 Bryant Dealer of the year – a huge industry honor and something we here at Aeroseal are quite excited about. Each year, Bryant honors fifteen of its dealers across the country with its medal of excellence award. From those fifteen, they anoint just one business its dealer of the year. Attaining this highest honor goes well beyond simple sales numbers to include such important factors as customer satisfaction and marketing excellence. Frederick Air excels at it all.

“Since we first opened the doors to Frederick Air in 1992, our focus has been on providing extraordinary customer support and service,” said Steve Schmidt, founder and president of Frederick Air Inc. “We figured that if we concentrated on that part of the business, the success will come. This award is really an acknowledgment that that original strategy has proven true.”

For Frederick Air, a large part of providing that extraordinary customer service has meant staying on top of the latest industry innovations. In fact, Steve and his team were one of the very first Aeroseal dealers in the country. Since that time, he has seen a growing demand for duct sealing services and the type of results that can only be obtained through Aeroseal.

“The HVAC business continues to experience a significant transformation,” said Schmidt. “For most of our customers it’s no longer good enough to just sell boxes – they are looking for solutions. In response, Frederick Air has become much more a home performance company than just a heating and cooling business.”

Over the years, Frederick Air has added services and expertise that have allowed them to expand into this synergistic area of the HVAC industry. They now offer BPI and ACCA trained professional services and a holistic approach to indoor comfort and energy savings. And of course, they offer Aeroseal.

“A customer may call us to replace their furnace or air conditioner, but we make sure they understand that this is only one part of a system that has to all work together,” said Schmidt. “A big part of that system is the ductwork. After we explain how the leaks in their ducts will impact even the most energy efficient unit, most seem to get it – and decide to get their ducts aerosealed. I have no doubt that offering services like Aeroseal will continue to play a growing role in our overall business success.”

MAKING IT FUN

Aeroseal’s Lucky 7 Contest Could Have You Revving Up Your New Harley

Making_It_FunIf saving thousands of trees isn’t a good enough incentive to sell Aeroseal, how about the idea of zooming by those trees on your new Harley Davidson motorcycle? That is exactly what one lucky Aeroseal rep. will be doing before the next snowstorm hits town. A half dozen others will be watching videos, reading digital books, playing games and doing those other things you do when you have a new Apple iPad. It’s called the Aeroseal Summer Seal Challenge and Lucky 7 Contest and if you are currently selling Aeroseal, one of those lucky 7 winners could very well be you.

Now that air conditioners are on standby for the hot summer months ahead, home comfort and energy savings will be of utmost concern to hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Canadian homeowners across the continent. While that makes Aeroseal a slam dunk for our service providers, we thought we would make the summer a lot more fun by conducting prize drawings that give you an opportunity to win some pretty amazing prizes.

Here’s how it works:

Go to aeroseal.com/lucky 7 and register to enter the Aeroseal Summer Seal Challenge and Lucky 7 Contest. Anyone who sells Aeroseal duct sealing is eligible. That means that multiple sales personnel from one company can enter the contest. One entry for each completed Aeroseal job is permitted with the credit for that sale going to one person only. So you’ll want to register right away to get credit for as many seals as possible.

Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to add an entry for each Aeroseal job you do. And as with any drawing, the more entries you have, the more chances you have to win.

The tally began June 15th and continues through September 15th. Again, the more you sell, the better your chances of winning. On the 15th of each month during the contest, a tally will be taken of all the jobs reported. Jobs will be verified against uploads in July, August and September.

The drawing will be held in early October so someone will be riding a new Harley before the end of the year.

It’s that easy! We look forward to sharing your picture sitting on the seat of your new hog (or checking out your new iPad) soon.

For a complete list of rules, Click here.

ON THE JOB

Aeroseal Keeps The Peace – And Air Flowing At St. Alban’s

On_the_job_st_albanyThere are always three sides to an argument, or so the saying goes: your side, the other side, and the right side. As it turned out for the various contractors involved in the renovation of St. Alban’s Anglican Church, the right side proved to be Aeroseal duct sealing.

To look at it from the street, you wouldn’t believe that St. Alban’s Church, resting majestically on a small hillside in downtown Ottawa, actually offers the area’s homeless a warm and comfortable respite from cold Canadian nights. But within the structure’s 2-foot thick stone exterior, you’ll find a recently renovated facility that offers a host of modern comforts, from newly installed bathrooms and showers to kitchen facilities, daycare and sleeping rooms. Perhaps most importantly, the church now offers visitors the warmth and comfort generated by a newly installed energy efficient heating system – a significant upgrade for the 147-year-old-building.

Before the renovation took place, St. Alban’s 4,000 sq. ft. basement was used primarily for storage. A boiler system ran hot water to the upstairs where radiators generated heat for the entire building. As part of the modern overhaul, the basement was transformed into a community shelter and the boiler system was updated and augmented with an ERV (energy recovery ventilations) unit.

“The church decided that if they were going to update the heating system, they ought to do so with energy efficiency in mind,” said Dan Carley, project manager, Dolyn Developments Inc. “The ERV system takes the heated air that is already inside the building and combines it with treated outside air and distributes it through new ductwork we assembled and placed along the basement ceiling. The ERV is also connected to the exhaust system, which is used to keep the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and shower areas ventilating properly.”

On paper, everything looked right. The ERV was specified to provide 1,000 CFM of output, more than enough to heat the building and ventilate the kitchen and bathrooms. But when all the components of the system were put in place, and the power switch to the ERV was turned on, clearly something wasn’t working right. The ERV wasn’t doing its job and ventilation was still poor at best.

“From the balancing reports I saw, it was clear that the ERV wasn’t drawing in enough air or blowing out enough on the other side,” said Bert Lelievre, duct specialist, AWS Remediation Technologies. “Even when the ERV was turned up as far as it could go, there was simply not enough air on either end.”

That began the year-long head scratching, testing, and tweaking process to figure out what wasn’t working right.

One obvious possibility was that the ERV system wasn’t functioning properly. Over a period of several months, the system was examined, adjusted and tested.  The system was rebalanced and retested. The supply handlers were examined and tuned. And the ERV system was retested again. Nothing. The project had stalled. Without the ERV working properly, the building wouldn’t get the ventilation or heat that was needed and the entire renovation project was heading to failure.  The contractors were baffled. The suppliers were exasperated. The church administrators were frustrated.

“There was a lot of finger pointing and lots of conjecture as to who was to blame for the problem,” said Carley, “And while the issue of duct leakage was raised during discussions, no one believed that simple leaks could have such a dramatic impact on results, so for a long time, it was ignored by everyone.”

At wits end, Carley and his crew at Dolyn decided to see what duct sealing would do. They spent several days manually sealing what they could reach using tape and mastic and then retested the system. There was little if any substantive change.

“I knew that the manual duct sealing would only address a small portion of the entire duct system.  Most of the ductwork was very close to the ceiling or behind newly constructed drywall where we couldn’t reach it,” said Carley. “If we wanted to properly seal the duct system, we would have to tear down the walls and pull off the ductwork completely – basically start from the beginning – a prospect that was devastating on a number of levels. Then someone from the team mentioned Aeroseal.”

Several of the contractors had heard about aeroseal technology but no one had first- hand experience with this new approach to duct sealing. After researching the technology, Carley thought it was worth trying.

“There was an awful lot of skepticism to go around,” said Carley. “I reviewed a number of case studies where the technology was used in hospitals and laboratories so I knew it was safe. But it was hard for me to imagine that aerosealing would make all that much difference.”

Still, at this point, aerosealing was the fastest, least expensive option left to pursue. After discussions with the engineering team and others, Dolyn Developments called in Lelievre and the folks at AWS.

“We came down to the church and reviewed the problem,” said Lelievre, “and after reviewing the various reports, we were confident that Aeroseal was the answer. We see this type of problem all the time and know how effective aerosealing can be. Most people simply don’t realize the impact that duct leakage can have on either ventilation or the proper balancing and operations of an HVAC system.”

With the paperwork completed and system schematics reviewed, AWS came in at noon on a Tuesday, had the Aeroseal hose connected to the ductwork by 3pm and were wrapped up and on their way home by 8pm that same evening.  Once they finished, a tester came in behind to balance the system. The airflow to the ERV was clearly much stronger than before, so he turned the unit down to a more appropriate level and went home for the night.

Anxious to see the results, Carley and the other contractors arrived in the morning to test the system. You can imagine their reaction when they couldn’t get the ERV unit to function properly.

“The system just wouldn’t turn on and operate as it should,” said Carley. “We began to make calls – to the tester, to the ERV manufacturer, to anyone we could think might have a clue. It was then that we figured out the problem. With such a significant increase in airflow to the unit, the tester had turned down the ERV so low that it wasn’t kicking on by itself. We just needed to turn it up a bit and then everything was running like a clock.”

Now the church is providing energy-efficient heating to its congregation and effective ventilation for its bathrooms and kitchen. It would never have been possible without proper duct sealing – and that required Aeroseal.

“I’m a believer,” said Carley. “The numbers speak for themselves. Before aeroseal, we were loosing about 665 CFM of air through duct leaks – that’s about 2/3rds of where we needed to be for proper system functioning. Aeroseal reduced that leakage rate 93%, giving us well over the amount of air needed. Before Aeroseal, we were operating the ERV at full force and not getting enough airflow. After Aeroseal, we set the ERV to about ½ its operating power and still got about 20% more air than we needed. That’s a huge difference – in both system functionality and in energy cost savings.”

It’s been about three months since St. Alban’s Church has opened its newly renovated facilities to the public. The new daycare facility is full of children and the shelter is providing room and board to some of the city’s most needy.  With the help of Aeroseal, the church is saving money on energy costs, the kitchen and bathrooms are fresh as can be, and at night, everyone is sleeping warm and comfortably.

FROM THE FRONTLINE

Top 10 Questions Still Asked About Aeroseal

From_The_FrontlineMore now than ever before, homeowners and commercial facility managers understand the enormous impact that duct leakage can have on energy savings and indoor comfort. The same holds true for Aeroseal.  The word about this game-changing technology is quickly spreading around the globe.

As with anything new, as word spreads, questions arise about the technology, the process, the cost and the results. In fact, we are finding that there are about a dozen questions from the professional HVAC community that seem to show up regularly on blog posts, Facebook pages and emails. Often times, these questions are followed by speculative answers or just plain misinformation.

So the crack team in our Question Processing Department (yeah, sure, we have one of those) put together a list of the most common questions we get about Aeroseal, along with answers you can trust.

If you have additional questions that you often hear out in the field, pass them on for a potential Part II of this article in a future issue of the Aeroseal Insider.

Q1: How much money will my customers save by having his/her ducts aerosealed?

A: This is probably the number one question asked by most anyone thinking of having their home or building aerosealed. As you can imagine, the answer varies depending upon a variety of factors. If, for instance, you live in Kansas City where the furnace is likely in use 2/3rds of the year, you will save more than someone who lives in a milder city like Portland, Oregon. Your utility rate, the severity of leakage, the design of the HVAC system and other factors all influence your energy costs and the actual amount you will save with Aeroseal.

Not such a satisfying answer, I know. So let’s try this.

After years of aerosealing homes, we can provide average savings that others have realized. Homeowners in the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid Atlantic regions of the U.S. typically save $300 – $400 a year on utilities. Those in the Northwest, Southwest and South save $600 – $900 a year. And now the customary disclaimer… your mileage may vary.

Q2: How quickly will it take for my customer to get a return on his/her aeroseal investment?

A: This is really part two to the first question, and so the answer is very similar…it depends. Figures show that with all things considered, homeowners see an ROI on average in 2.5 to 5 years.  My favorite anecdote to this question came from a homeowner who told me that when he showed his investment counselor the calculated energy savings he was expected to get from Aerosealing his home, he was told it was the best investment he could make. The broker said he couldn’t offer his client a single stock or investment option that would provide the type of return that he would be getting with Aeroseal.

Q3: How long will Aeroseal last?

A: Aeroseal has a ten-year warranty – but don’t confuse that with lifespan, which is much longer. Accelerated testing conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory resulted in Aeroseal showing no sign of deterioration in the aeroseal seals – and it continued to seal much past the life span of tape and mastic. It has been durability tested to over 40 years. It exceeds all UL standard tests for durability. So the guarantee – the strongest warranty in the industry – covers the contractor for 10 years for parts and labor for any failure in Aeroseal seal but Aeroseal seal itself has proven to last for decades.

Q4: Is it safe?

A: The aeroseal sealant itself consists of a vinyl acetate polymer. Its ingredients are those commonly found in hairspray and chewing gum. In other words, yes, it is very safe. It’s nontoxic (As certified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and it is UL approved.

Most telling however, is that aeroseal has been used at some of today’s most prestigious medical facilities – from the Mayo Clinic to Nemours Children’s Hospital. Day-to-day operations at these facilities often remained virtually uninterrupted during its application. It doesn’t get much safer than that.

Q5: How many homes have been aerosealed?

A: As of the end of 2013, nearly 100,000 homes have been sealed. Add about 200 additional homes to that figure on a weekly base.

Q6: Is there an odor?

A: At the time of application, there is a very mild odor, similar to that of Elmer’s glue. This dissipates completely within a few hours.

Q7: Will the ducts be covered with sealant?

A: Aeroseal does not coat the ductwork. It remains suspended in air until it comes to a leak and is forced to the opening. Here it clings to the edge of the hole and then to other sealant particles until the leak is completely sealed.

Q8: Does Aeroseal seal all leaks?

A: Aeroseal seals leaks as large as 5/8’’. This encompasses the overwhelming majority of problem leaks in today’s homes and buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “small holes” are the biggest cause of duct leakage. These holes are found primarily along the ductwork seams and around fittings.

It is true that in some cases, portions of the ductwork become disconnected and Aeroseal, of course, cannot remedy this situation. But the Aeroseal process will alert the professional that this problem exists and allow him to address and fix this problem.
The bottom line is that, on average, Aeroseal effectively seals 95% or more of duct system leakage.

Q9:  Will Aeroseal seal flex duct? Fiberglass lined ducts? Fiberboard ducts?

A: Yes, yes and yes. In fact, we’ve yet to come across ductwork that Aeroseal will not effectively seal. That includes cement and brick passageways as well.

Q10:  Why use Aeroseal when I can do it by hand with tape and mastic.

A: There are several reasons. First, it’s simply impossible to manually reach all the leaks in ductwork that has already been installed. The overwhelming majority of the duct is hidden or virtually impossible to access for manual sealing. If you want to have a real impact on energy savings and HVAC performance, you’ll need to reach and seal leaks throughout the entire duct system.

Even in new homes, we hear again and again about new ductwork that has been installed and meticulously sealed by hand, yet continues to under perform due to leaks. And if the manual sealing passed code when first installed, it often fails just months later following climate changes or other external factors.

With Aeroseal, you also get documentation of results. The process begins with a computerized analysis of the ductwork and ends with a post-test. You and your customers get a printout of the results that highlight the before and after results.

Lastly, it’s just better. Studies comparing the two show that Aeroseal is 60% more effective and 30% less expensive than manually sealing ductwork.

Have questions about Aeroseal?

Let us know. E-mail us at info@aeroseal.com.