Forced-air cooling and heating systems use ducts to disburse treated air throughout a building. In most buildings, though, compromised ductwork leads to a 20 to 30 percent air loss throughout the duct system.
As a result, HVAC systems work harder to pump conditioned air throughout the building, energy bills go up unnecessarily, and HVAC systems wear out faster than they’re supposed to.
Plus, your home just does not feel comfortable no matter how low you set your thermostat.
There are a few telltale signs that your ducts are leaking:
- High utility bills in both the summer and winter
- Rooms that do not maintain a consistent temperature
- Stuffy rooms
- Ducts are in the crawlspace, garage, or attic
- Kinked or tangled flexible ducts
If ducts are hard-to-reach places, they could be severely compromised without you even knowing it. The hassle of finding and repairing the ducts may tempt you to leave things as they are. Keep in mind, though, that you’re wasting money every month.
Some homeowners choose to take on duct sealing as a do-it-yourself project. Start by sealing air leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access (such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages). Never use duct tape, as it is not long-lasting. Also, make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common locations to find leaks and disconnected ductwork.
Many homeowners choose to work with a professional contractor for duct improvement projects. Most heating and cooling equipment contractors also repair ductwork.