Before the mid 1990s, energy efficiency wasn’t a major priority in home construction. One of the places where this is most obvious is in the ductwork. Ductwork often was put in fast and cheap. Builders didn’t spend a lot of time checking the seals or using high-quality products.
Fast forward to today. Many of those old, cheap ducts are starting to fail (or never worked correctly in the first place). Some ductwork joints were only held together with hex head screws; others used duct tape or poor-quality sealant. Leaky or failing ductwork can raise the cost of heating and cooling your home up to 30 percent. The air that’s being pushed through the system is heating and cooling the interior of your walls and the areas under your floors.
In addition to losing the conditioned air, these leaks also allow unfiltered air into the system. This could be fumes from your garage, particles of insulation, drywall dust, and a myriad of other chemicals and pollutants.
To address this, do a visual inspection of your duct lines. Check the attic, crawlspace and any other places with exposed ductwork. Disconnected runs will be easy to spot, as will peeling duct tape. Also look for dust lines around the seams and joints, as well as signs of rust or corrosion. Burning an incense stick near the suspected leak while the fan is in “on” position will help find smaller leaks quickly. These leaks can be fixed with aluminum-backed tape
After you have sealed up all of the air leaks you can find, check the airflow in your rooms. If you find that the air temperature or flow is significantly lower in any one area, there may be a leak where you can’t see it. Call a professional HVAC tech to do a full blower test on your ducts to determine if this is the case.
If you think you might have a ductwork issues, contact our HVAC experts at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, proudly serving Greater Cleveland residents for more than 78 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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