Of Mastic and Mistakes

May/June 2001
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2001 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2001
        My company has been in the HVAC business for eight years. Last year, our crews passed the 100- mile mark—they sealed their 100th mile of ductwork. They have applied somewhere around 16,000 gallons of duct mastic, conducted 8,000 Duct Blaster tests, increased comfort for scores of homeowners, saved loads of Btus,and well … profoundly messed up a few heating and cooling systems.Following are a few of the most interesting examples of our messing up—perhaps by reading these, you’ll avoid making the mistakes that we made!                 Case One: The Iceberg         Mrs. Jones (not her real name for obvious reasons) was an older woman with a 3-ton heat pump in her home, a newer home that had extremely leaky ducts. Our crew was able to decrease her duct leakage from more than 600 CFM at 50 Pascals (Pa) down to 75 CFM at 50 Pa.That’s 525 CFM of leakage. The crew was pumped. They had just done a great job and they knew it. It was a Friday afternoon, ending the week on a ...

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