Leaking Ducts – Are They Costing You Money?
Many homeowners blame their heating and cooling system for high utility bills or poor temperature maintenance. In truth, it’s often not the fault of the system, but with leaking air ducts. Duct sealing is a service that can reduce energy bills and improve indoor air quality. It also costs a lot less than replacing your furnace or air conditioner.
Reduce Energy Bills
Here are the facts about high utility costs:
- About 47% of the average utility bill is spent on heating and air conditioning.
- On average, 30-cents of every $1.00 spent on heating and cooling a home disappears through leaky ducts.
Because the ducts run through the ceilings and walls, it’s can be dificult to detect leaks. However, an increase in your heating and/or cooling bill may mean that you have a problem. Inefficiency causes room temperature to vary from where you’ve set your thermostat. This will cause your furnace and air conditioner to run more, while producing less. The result is that you are paying to heat and cool your walls and ceilings, NOT your rooms.
How to Find Duct Leaks
If you have access to your ductwork (for example, in a basement or crawlspace), you can inspect the exposed joints to make sure they are tight. You should also look at the connections between the branches. Those are the most common places for issues. If you find loose connections or holes, seal them with metal tape.
(Ironically, you DON’T want to repair your ducts with duct tape. Although originally developed for ductwork, the adhesive won’t hold long enough to make it a viable, long-term repair. Metal tape is the modern solution to sealing leaks in metal ductwork.)
Unfortunately, in many homes, the ductwork is not accessible. If that’s the case, then your best course of action is to call in a professional. They can test your ducts with specialized equipment that determines the location and the extent of your problem.
Why You Should Seal the Ductwork
Apart from reducing energy bills, a leaky system can present hazards to your health. Holes allow dirt and noxious gas into your home. Leaks in your furnace’s venting ductwork can also allow carbon monoxide from your gas furnace to escape rather than venting outside as intended.
People with allergies should schedule regular duct cleanings. If you see dust buildup near the registers, that is an indicator that your system is dirty or leaking. Dust in your ductwork can make allergies and asthma much worse.
Schedule a service visit and inspection.
This is the most important step. One of our trained HVAC technicians will inspect your ductwork from one end to the other, and then let you know if it needs to be cleaned, repaired, and/or sealed.