6. Save Energy

A Resolution to Save the Planet? Start by Saving Energy at Home

New Year’s resolutions can run the gamut, from improved fitness to better financial health to a quest for a more fun and active lifestyle. But with the effects of climate change in the news almost every day, some are resolving to take steps that help not just themselves, but the planet—and it all starts with conserving energy at home.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends small steps such as turning off unused electronics, installing a programmable thermostat, and hiring a professional to clean and maintain your heating and cooling system. But there’s another way folks can reduce their carbon footprint and conserve the wasted energy escaping their house every day.

The average home loses 25 to 40 percent of heated or cooled air through leaks in its duct system, causing homeowners to run their heating and air conditioning units more often than they should. But one Columbia heating and air company offers a NASA-engineered technology called Aeroseal® that leads to a notable reduction in home energy use. Aeroseal® also provides cleaner air by preventing dust and allergens from infiltrating the system.

“According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Aeroseal® is the best investment for home improvements. It qualifies for tax credits and utility rebates. The average return on investment is 18 months,” says Kenny Wardlaw, owner and vice president of Cool Care Heating and Air. “Besides saving money, Aeroseal® reduces humidity in the cooling season, improves air quality by reducing dust, and helps reduce temperature swings in the house, thus saving you money because of energy reduction in the usage of your HVAC unit.”

The traditional method of sealing ducts, using tape and a paste compound called mastic, can be messy and less effective. Aeroseal® works from the inside—it’s a polymer that’s sprayed into the duct system and turns into an aerosol, filling any holes up to an inch thick. Before and after the process, technicians take readings that tell them how much air is escaping the system, and the difference can be day and night.

That’s what one Columbia homeowner discovered when Cool Care applied Aeroseal® to the ducts in her house built in the 1940s. Before, the wasted energy escaping the home was the equivalent of 16 refrigerators running all the time. Afterward, the total square inches of leakage in the duct system was reduced to about the size of a golf ball.

Signs of leaky ducts include dusty homes, discolored insulation around ducts, and a discoloration around the edges of carpeting. Treating leaky ducts with Aeroseal® is a one-day job, and homeowners can expect energy savings of up to 30 percent. An infrared camera locates leaks larger than 1 inch requiring he traditional mastic method of repair.

“We guarantee it will be tighter than new construction standards for 10 years,” Wardlaw says.

The product also helps prevent rooms from becoming too hot or too cold by facilitating more consistent airflow and also helps allergy sufferers by reducing pollutants in the air. Hospitals and government institutions have used the non-toxic sealant made of the same material as baby bottle nipples. It only takes about two hours to dry.

“Some customers have saved over $100 per month,” Wardlaw says. “Many have noticed that their discomfort issues have gone away completely. For example, one customer had low airflow upstairs. After Aeroseal®, the bathroom vent caused all the toilet paper to come off the roll because it was blowing so well. Aeroseal® makes an immediate difference in the feel of your home.”

Interested in learning more about Aeroseal®, and how it can help you keep a New Year’s resolution of conserving energy in your home? Call Cool Care Heating and Air at (803) 772-7715, or visit their website at CoolCareHVAC.com.