Sealing Your Ductwork: What You Need to Know
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.