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Will better commissioning of ducts be a solution for the air leakage problem?

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In part. Leakage testing of duct systems, by means of a pressure test, is a very effective way of achieving more airtight duct systems. This type of commissioning is required throughout Scandinavia, to check compliance with minimum airtightness requirements (except for Norway, where the practice has become less common in the last 15 years). However, airtightness testing is no substitute for installing quality duct systems with good airtightness in the first place. Various field studies have shown that rectangular ductwork is generally leakier than rigid round ductwork with prefitted gasket seals. Moreover, it is well known that the airtightness of some other duct systems can degrade over time. The gasket seals on flanged metal rectangular ductwork can become more leaky over time and need to be dismantled regularly for maintenance. Field examinations have shown that taped seals on rectangular duct-board systems tend to fail over extended periods of time. In addition, the clamps required by the trade standard (UL 181), for example at the connections to flexible ductwork, can fail and their durability has been questioned.

For more information, read the Information Paper P187 “Duct System Air Leakage — How Scandinavia tackled the problem” by P.G.Schild & J.Railio, on the BUILDUP website Normal 0