Don’t let Northeast Ohio’s relatively mild winter this year keep you from ensuring that your HVAC system is operating at peak efficiency. No matter the weather, your heating and cooling system benefits from duct sealing. Ducts take conditioned air from the HVAC unit and distribute it throughout the home, pulling air back into the system to condition again.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star conservation program, duct sealing is near the top of the list of the most cost-effective improvements a homeowner can make. When ducts leak, your system has to work harder to compensate for the conditioned air that it’s losing through cracks and poor connections in ductwork. In addition to making the system work harder, leaks can also pull moldy or dusty air from basements, crawl spaces and attics into living spaces.
If you notice utility bills rising, have rooms that are either stuffy or cold, or have a musty odor in your home, follow these three tips to boost the efficiency of your ducts and save energy year-round:
- Examine your home’s visible ductwork at the start of each heating and cooling season. Look for kinks in flexible ducts, areas where ducts have separated, and places where you can feel air blowing from the seams between sections of duct.
- Use foil-backed tape rated for use on ducts to wrap the joints between sections of duct, where they join with HVAC equipment, and where they connect with registers. Painted-on mastic sealant is another option for duct sealing, but avoid traditional duct tape and rewrap joints with the correct tape where duct tape is already in place.
- Consult a professional when sealing visible joints doesn’t solve the problem. An HVAC professional can pressurize the system to easily locate leaks in hard-to-reach places.
- Consider insulating your ducts in places where they run through unheated or un-cooled parts of your home, such as crawlspaces, basements and attics. Conditioned air can also be lost through conduction, through the ducts’ thin metal sheeting.
For additional tips on duct sealing and other heating and air conditioning topics, contact Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about duct sealing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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