Air ducts are a vital component of your home’s HVAC system, and any ducts that are leaking can reduce the performance of the system considerably, increasing your energy costs and making your home less comfortable. Properly sealing your ductwork is a relatively simple process, but there are a few things that you should know first.
Why a Proper Seal is Important
Leaking ductwork can allow up to 30 percent of the air moving through the system to be lost, increasing your heating and cooling bills by up to 40 percent. Additionally, leaks in the ductwork can allow dust, combustion gases from nearby appliances and other pollutants to enter the duct system and be carried throughout the house, reducing your indoor air quality. Properly sealing your ductwork can reduce your energy costs, especially if the ducts run through uninsulated spaces like the attic, basement or a crawl space, and it can improve your home’s indoor air quality.
How to Determine if You Have Leaks
A couple of the symptoms of leaky ductwork are high energy costs, inconsistent temperatures or rooms that are hard to keep heated or cooled. You can also inspect any ducts that are easily accessible and check for damaged tape or mastic at the joints, disconnected or loose joints, holes or other damage, and obvious air leaks. Often, however, the ductwork is hidden in walls or otherwise inaccessible, and you may need a professional to inspect it.
Sealing the Ductwork
Sealing your ductwork can be a difficult job, especially if it’s inaccessible, and it’s often best left to a professional. To do it properly, any loose joints need to be secured, using screws for rigid ducts or the proper clamps for flexible ducts, and each joint should be sealed with mastic or foil tape that is specially designed for HVAC systems. Despite the name, regular duct tape cannot do the job properly. Any holes or other damage should be patched, and kinks or twists in flexible ducts should be straightened.
For more information about sealing your ductwork, talk to our professionals at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida.
When you turn on your air conditioner this summer, one of the last things you need is more heat in your home. Heat gain is a common source of additional indoor heat that comes from multiple natural and man-made sources. Not only will heat gain make your home less comfortable, it will also increase your monthly cooling costs as your air conditioner or heat pump works harder to compensate. Here are some ways to lower heat gain in your home and save money and energy while staying consistently cool.
- Close the curtains and drapes: Heat gain through windows is probably the most common source. If you’ve ever seen your pet sleeping in a sunny area, you know that those spots of sunshine can be very warm. Excess sunshine can also raise indoor temperatures by a significant amount. To stop this source of heat gain, close your curtains and drapes during those times when there is likely to be a lot of sunshine coming through the windows.
- Reconsider using heat-generating appliances: Cooking using stoves, ovens, and other appliances can produce significant amounts of heat gain. Consider using other methods of cooking during the hottest parts of the day, such as small toaster ovens or microwaves. Reserve the use of ovens and cooking stoves for early morning or late evening hours.
- Run ventilation fans in the bathroom: Using hot water in the bathroom can produce both heat and moisture. When showering or bathing, make sure to turn on the ventilation fans in the bathroom to pull out moisture and heat that could otherwise get into your larger living spaces.
- Insulate the attic: Attics can get extremely hot in summer, so make sure the attic spaces and roof are well insulated to reduce heat build-up in that area. Attic ventilation systems can also help remove hot air.
Conditioned Air has served the needs of HVAC customers in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the neighboring communities since 1962. Contact us today for more information on how to lower heat gain in your home and keep your living spaces cooler and more comfortable this summer.
The quality of the air inside your home has a significant effect on both health and comfort. Here are some of the signs of poor indoor air quality you should be watching for. If you notice these signs, contact your local trusted HVAC professional for help.
1. Increased Discomfort or Health Problems
Poor indoor air quality can contribute to physical discomfort while also making some health problems worse.
- Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and particulates in the air can trigger allergies or asthma attacks.
- Particulates can irritate eyes, noses, and throats, causing unpleasant scratchy feelings.
- Particulates can cause sneezing, coughing, watering eyes, and skin irritation.
- In severe cases, poor indoor air quality can cause dizziness or nausea.
2. Increased Amounts of Dust
Take a look at the shelves and other surfaces in your home. If there is an increased amount of dust on these surfaces, it could indicate a problem with indoor air quality. More dust and particulates can be present in poor-quality air, and over time, this dust will settle on surfaces in your home. You may even see more dust floating through the air if it’s made visible in sunshine or other light sources.
3. Bad Odors
If you notice more bad odors than usual, or unpleasant smells that will not go away, you may have poor indoor air quality. Certain activities, such as cooking, may produce temporarily strong odors, but if the smells you’re noticing are frequent or consistent, it could indicate a reduction in indoor ventilation and a drop in indoor air quality.
4. Higher Humidity and Mold Growth
Higher humidity in your home could be an indicator of poor air quality. This is especially true if the increased humidity is also accompanied by more mold growth.
Since 1962 our people have made Conditioned Air a top choice for heating and cooling services in Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and the surrounding Florida communities. Contact us today for more information on identifying poor indoor air quality and what you can do to improve the quality of the air inside your home.