he new superintendent at Ohio’s Licking Heights school district thought the cost for heating a nd cooling all 5 of its school buildings was high, but one 7-year-old elementary school in particular stood out. Its energy bills were double that of a similar school just down the road. It was also plagued by uneven heating. To keep warm, students and teachers in the far wing of t he building often wore hats and coats during class.
Commissioning Firm: Heapy Engineering
HVAC Solutions Provider: Bruner Corporation
Before Aeroseal: Losing 55% of treated air
After Aeroseal: Delivering 98% of treated air
Results: Reduced duct leakage by 27,350+ CFM
Reduced energy bill by $45,000/year
Eliminated uneven heating issues
An energy audit revealed that, like most U.S. buildings today, each school in the district was losing about 30% or more of treated air through leaks in the ductwork. West Elementary School was particularly problematic – losing more than 50% of treated air through duct leaks. Several options for fixing the problem were considered but in the end, due to several factors including lower cost, limited disruption and a strong guarantee, it was decided to use Aeroseal, an innovative aerosol-based duct sealing technology developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The entire project was conducted over the winter holiday recess. Teachers and students came back to a very different situation. For the first time, all of the classrooms were warm and comfortable. Thermostats were turned down. Fan power was reduced.
With the ductwork effectively sealed, the school district estimates that it will save about $45,000 each year on its utility costs. The school also received a cash rebate of more than $27,000 through an energy savings program offered by AEP Ohio, the local utility company. The district is now looking at having its 4 other schools aerosealed as well.