sealing the deal one duct at a time
Leading the industry with innovative solutions, Aeroseal provides cost-effective answers
As an industry-leading duct and air sealing technology company, Ohio-based Aeroseal is helping consumers, businesses, and building owners save on energy costs while reducing carbon emissions. The company has been in existence for roughly 12 years and has already received wide acclaim and attention, including from regional and national news outlets.
Growth has been particularly impressive over the last few years. There were just 40 employees in September 2020, but approximately 210 today, matching increased demand. Over the years Aeroseal’s services have been implemented in more than 260,000 homes, with a large percentage of those coming in the last three years.
Senior Director of Brand & Content for Aeroseal, Peter Eberly outlines the main areas that it specializes in for buildings of all sizes. Through its duct sealing and building envelope sealing techniques, the company can improve a building’s air quality, lower a building’s energy costs, increase the efficiency of a building’s HVAC system, and reduce that building’s carbon footprint. Eberly also points out that the process also assists with addressing overlooked carbon emissions contributors to both residential and commercial buildings.
“We’re always trying to scale these technologies so we can (impact) as many customers as we can,” Eberly says. “As a species, we’re involved in a race against time when you consider the impact of climate change and the effect that it will have on all of us.”
Aeroseal will sell and market its services in a variety of ways. For residential customers, sales often come from branding Aeroseal to HVAC or solar dealer networks. There are some direct sales to consumers, but partnering with these networks can help create new purchase funnel opportunities, Eberly says.
One residential area that is growing is the ability to work with builders who are managing new home construction projects. By completing a duct sealing and building envelope sealing process in advance, new home buyers can expect to save 20-30 percent on their energy costs from the very first night they are in their newly built home. Even with new home construction slowing in some parts of the country, this represents one of the fastest-growing new business opportunities for Aeroseal.
“It’s really a big emphasis of ours over the next couple of years because right now we are just scratching the surface of these (new home construction) opportunities,” Eberly says.
Aeroseal directly sells and markets its high-tech services to building owners, energy service companies, and individual corporate decision-makers on the commercial side. The company works with hospitals, institutions of higher learning, and other large commercial building owners directly for sales, while relying on other commercial networks to grow that business. The commercial side includes much longer sales lead times but can result in significant revenue opportunities.
Whether Aeroseal is working to promote its brand in the residential or commercial sector, educating potential target audiences on the benefits of the sealing services is a big part of the process, Eberly says. Company leaders hope to grow their list of key stakeholders while creating relevant stories that display value to prospects. One way to do that is to appeal directly to homeowners and commercial building decision-makers. But the dealer networks remain important because of the potential volume of customers they can help identify.
“We want to always keep our dealer networks in mind because they have tremendous reach,” Eberly says. “Education is a big part of our process so that we can remain (subject matter experts).”
Telling the Aeroseal story to builders and other contractors can help as well. Local municipalities are increasingly adding new code requirements to support sustainability and energy efficiency in new construction builds, Eberly says. These builders and consumers can directly take advantage of rebates and other financial incentives.
Building and maintaining a staff of experienced professionals
Aeroseal’s staff and revenue have ironically grown even during the early days of the COVID pandemic in 2020. More consumers were spending money on their homes and housing prices soared. There quickly became a need for the company to hire at a furious pace, even as more Americans were deciding to not work full-time or take a permanent or short-term break from their careers.
Retention of existing employees has not been an issue despite the national labor shortage many employers are experiencing, says Leanna Gensler, Director, Human Resources for the company. As a small-town company headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, about 45 minutes north of Cincinnati. Aeroseal has grown its culture as a rural start-up and has maintained that “small company feels, big company services” approach as it has grown.
That includes allowing employees to spend one workday each month working on a project at Aeroseal that is of particular importance to them, even if it is not a short-term need. Gensler and her team offer numerous free educational courses and certified training opportunities to support employee personal and industry growth.
Additionally, Aeroseal CEO Amit Gupta has office hours dedicated to employees who want to discuss work items and share ideas every week. He even lets his employees use his personal office when out of town. Says Gensler, “We want to keep our employees engaged with each other, so we have many plans in place to help make that a reality.”
The good news is that Aeroseal is still hiring. It uses many of the typical online tools to attract qualified candidates but about 40 percent of all new candidates come from current employee referrals. “I think that says a lot about what our employees think about working here – when they want to bring family members and friends aboard,” Gensler says.
An efficient operation for residential and multiple commercial industries
Whether a client is residential or commercial in nature, the first step in providing service to ensure a more energy-efficient building starts with a survey. On the residential side, a home’s registers and returns are blocked and inspected to determine the right course of action. The sheer volume of new clients and surveys has resulted in the need to double the company’s staff of engineers and increase its research and development staff from two to 18 in just two years – all to address current demand.
This efficiency is communicated to dealers and other partners at industry trade shows and through internal sales professionals. “Customers want to feel and see our products and we offer that at these events,” says Eberly.
On the commercial side, Aeroseal has a process to determine what it refers to as “Intelligence Leak Protection.” This refers to a proprietary formula that identifies exactly how leaky a building is and what the proper solution should be. A hospital customer that had a significantly leaky duct system found out that its inefficient ductwork was costing it up to tens of thousands of dollars per year, after completing the Aeroseal commercial survey.
While the amount of savings commercial clients experience can vary, Eberly indicates there is a “short payback period common to just about all of our clients.”
Setting goals to ensure continued success
One of the goals Aeroseal has in 2023 and 2024 is to expand its revenue from residential new construction projects, Eberly says, calling it a “blue ocean” of opportunity. Local building codes are becoming more specific, and builders are looking for partners to help them meet those requirements. More new homes are required to have energy-efficient features than ever before, which represents a potential boon for Aeroseal.
A second goal is increasing sales with existing homeowners. The Inflation Reduction Act offers tax rebates for Americans that make the energy-efficient and HVAC services provided by Aeroseal more affordable. Prices of these sustainable technologies and products are slowly decreasing as they evolve.
Finally, Eberly hopes to increase direct commercial sales as well. There are virtually unlimited opportunities for large clients in such fields as healthcare, retail, office buildings, large apartment buildings, universities, and more.
“With more employees and (industry) connections we can have more conversations with (prospects) at a high level,” Eberly says. We hope to get a few of those white whale customers which can really make a positive (financial) impact.”
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AT A GLANCE
What: Industry-leading duct and air sealing technology company
Where: Ohio, US
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