New Jersey: Reducing Energy Bills for Camden’s Families

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Reducing energy consumption in homes.
Aeroseal treatment saves residents of Northgate II approximately $34,000 annually.
Locations: New Jersey
Partners: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Clean Energy Sector: Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturingPDF

The Northgate II, a 308-unit apartment building, was treated with Aeroseal, thanks to a grant from New Jersey’s Multifamily Weatherization Assistance Program. Aeroseal, developed at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by Dr. Mark Modera, uses airborne adhesive particles to seal leaky air ducts. The Aeroseal treatment is expected to reduce Northgate II’s energy consumption by 217,000 kilowatt hours per year, saving its residents an estimated $34,000 annually.

Preliminary testing of the Northgate II building revealed fairly large gaps that were contributing to the building’s inefficiency. The Aeroseal process fixed the problem and, in doing so, helped to significantly improve the efficiency of the building’s two exhaust fans. 

Aeroseal works by sealing duct leaks from inside the duct system. Technicians inject airborne particles into the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) duct system. Before the injections, technicians block furnaces, fans, and grills so that the adhesive aerosolized vinyl polymer particles go to the leaks where they are deposited and build up until the leaks are sealed. 

Aeroseal technology has received several awards, including “Best of What’s New,” by Popular Science in 1996, “100 best scientific and technological accomplishments” by DOE in 2000, and “Best New Home Product” by This Old House Magazine in 2001. 

In 2001, DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program served as a test bed for the Aerosol technology. The field test project included 80 homes in five states (Iowa, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming). The study found that, compared with the best-practice approach, aerosol-spray technology was 50% more effective at sealing duct leaks and had the potential of reducing labor time and costs by 70%.

The Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIP) provides funding and technical assistance to its partners in state and local governments, Indian tribes, and international agencies to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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