Having an energy-efficient home is the primary goal for most homeowners. With an efficient heating system, you’ll enjoy lower energy bills. One of the most common areas of heat loss and inefficiencies is the ductwork that functions behind the scenes in your home. The ducts deliver conditioned air throughout your home, and then bring the air back to the furnace or other forced-air system to be conditioned all over again. You need tight ducts for the forced-air system to work properly and not waste large amounts of conditioned air and energy.
Consequences of Inefficient Ductwork
All ducts over time have a tendency to become loose at the seals. Most of the problems stem from leaks at these locations. Warm air that you’ve used energy to create leaks out, often into unconditioned areas. Meanwhile, dirty, unfiltered air can enter loose or leaky ducts. This disrupts the efficiency of your heating system, comfort in your home, and in certain situations your indoor air quality.
Keep in mind that loose ducts are not the only problem, just the most common. Occasionally there could be other issues such as blockages and debris buildup. Some old or poorly installed ducts can come completely detached or blocked.
How to Find Problems
Most of your ductwork is hidden away and hard to access, which makes it difficult to inspect for leaks and other problems. While you may be able to check any exposed ducts in your attic or crawl spaces, in most cases it’s best to bring in an HVAC professional.
An HVAC professional will have testing devices to check the volume of airflow through different sections of your ductwork. He or she will have the skills and equipment to detect problems you might not think of.
How to Fix Problems
Regardless of whether you or a professional finds a problem, it needs to be fixed. Loose seals can be fixed using a high quality metal tape or a mastic sealant. Standard gray duct tape is not suitable as it will not hold for very long.
If there is significant damage or deteriorating in your home’s duct system, replacement may be inevitable. In some homes, duct installation was done poorly and they’ll need to be replaced. Your HVAC contractor can walk you through any issues.
If you have any other questions about tight ducts in your Greater Cleveland area home, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
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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