Republican, Democrat or Independent – when it comes to state and local government, one thing seems constant… budget shortfalls. There never seems to be enough money to sufficiently run our schools, repair our roads or facilitate the numerous other programs and initiatives demanded by our citizenry and elected officials. So it’s always important to note when someone finds a strategy that makes improvements while saving the government money at the same time.
Aeroseal has been helping cities do just that for several years now. I’ve already blogged about a school district in Ohio that fixed a perpetual heating problem and is now saving tens of thousands of dollars of their annual operational budget because they sealed their ductwork with Aeroseal. Then there is the government city center building in Las Vegas that solved its ventilation problems and in doing so, reduced their energy costs by thousands each year.
Here’s another example to include on that government-savings list: By aerosealing the ductwork of just one building, the city of Prescott, Arizona is now saving taxpayers $2,000 to $4,000 each month in operational expenses associated with its government-run country club.
But that’s not the beginning of the Aeroseal-savings story for the city of Prescott, or the last.
It began when the local Aeroseal dealer in Prescott convinced a few of the city’s facility managers to have their own homes aerosealed. Bryce Cox of Arrowseal LLC figured if he could prove to these directors how effective the duct sealing technology was in reducing energy costs in their own homes, they would be more likely to understand what it could do to save the city money as well.
It worked! The team at Arrowseal sealed the ductwork of several older homes suffering from both high energy bills and spotty heating and cooling. The results made instant Aeroseal believers of the homeowners, and that led to a pilot project for the city.
To prove that Aeroseal is as effective in sealing commercial ductwork as it in a residential setting, Cox and his crew were asked to do their Aeroseal magic on a small one-system office complex managed by the city. For good measure, they also sealed the leaky ductwork at the city’s main fire station. In both cases, Aeroseal provided immediate and substantial savings.
So, in January of this year, the Arrowseal team was called in to work on a golf course facility run by the City of Prescott. The Antelope Hills Municipal Country Club includes a clubhouse, restaurant, bar and pro shop, all under one roof. The city was about to replace the facility’s six HVAC roof units with new energy-efficient equipment, and they wanted Arrowseal to ensure the ductwork was up to snuff as well. Before the upgrade, energy costs for operating the country club were running around $5,000 to $6,000 a month and the city was hoping that, with the new systems and aerosealed ductwork, they could reduce that cost.
“We did an analysis of the HVAC system before the upgrade and then immediately following the new equipment installation. As you can imagine, the city administrators were not happy to find that, despite the new energy-efficient equipment, the system was running worse than before the upgrade.”
Apparently, the new ductwork and the connections between the ductwork and the new systems caused more leaks than the original system. Whatever efficiency the city may have gotten from upgrading units, they were losing through the leaks. All eyes were now on the Arrowseal team. It was up to them to save the day.
Step one for Arrowseal was to manually seal the connections between the ducts and the HVAC units. Bryce estimates that this alone reduced leakage by 100 CFM. Now it was up to Aeroseal to make it all worthwhile.
It took the Arrowseal team just two days to seal the supply and returns of the six individual systems. Calculations showed a total pre-aeroseal (post manual sealing) leakage rate of 1,072 CFM. Aerosealing instantly brought that down to 79 CFM – a reduction of around 92%.
“Overall, we recovered almost 1,000 CFM of treated air – nearly 3 tons. That is the equivalent of saving the energy generated by one of the entire systems,” said Bryce.
The city estimates they are now saving an average of $2,000 per month – and as much as $4,000 per month during the hottest and coldest months – just from Aeroseal alone.
“The savings from Aeroseal will quickly pay for any costs of the sealing process and then begin to pay for the six systems,” said Bryce. “Even with their higher efficiency, the new HVAC units would never have saved enough in energy to pay for themselves on their own.”
Now the city of Prescott is looking to include Arrowseal in all of its retrofit projects. With a little investment in time and patience, Bryce turned a few small projects into a steady stream of work that will pay off for both Arrowseal and the taxpayers of Prescott, Arizona.