Game Changer: Cost-Effective Duct Leakage Reduction in Large Commercial Buildings

This webinar outlines the issues and related impacts that researchers observed in the field. Josh Quinnell provides an in-depth look at study findings including duct leakage characteristics in commercial and institutional buildings, retrofit duct sealing efficacy, the significant potential for cost-effective energy savings, and greater operational control of building HVAC systems. 

Download the recording:

Cost-Effective Duct Retrofit & Leakage Reduction


  • Measured leakage was lower than expected, but still represents an opportunity of about 460 GWh of electric savings and 2,900 MMCF of gas savings per year
  • We estimate 15% of commercial and institutional buildings will yield cost-effective opportunities (~7 yr payback over a long lifetime)
  • The primary energy savings are from natural gas an the primary cost savings are from electricity 


Immediately incorporate measure into programs
  • Commercial auditing
  • Recommissioning
  • Turn-key savings programs
Bundled measure or service
  • Duct cleaning
  • Rebalancing, motor/VFD/AHU upgrades, renovations
  • Other commercial program measures
Integrated M&V offers easy performance-based rebate

Catalog screening efforts and sealing results
  • Continuous improvement of simple screening criteria

For questions regarding this presentation or research project, contact the primary investigator, Josh Quinnell (

For questions regarding Aerosol sealing products and techniques, contact Vicki Auditore (

We are gathering contact information from those interested in future duct sealing training (for aerosol or other techniques). If there is enough interest, we will reach out to you in the future. Click here to leave your contact info.
This project supported in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program. And with co-funding by CEE in support of its nonprofit mission to advance research, knowledge dissemination, and program design in the field of energy efficiency.