Most houses use a network of ducts to distribute conditioned air in both winter and summer. However, ducts in most homes have substantial leakage issues, which can increase monthly energy bills. Some experts suggest that in a typical house, up to 20 percent of the air moving through ducts is lost due to holes, leaks, poor connections or faulty duct sealing.
A properly functioning duct system will make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, while ensuring better indoor air quality. Faulty ducts make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Here are several ways to find the leaks and properly seal them.
If ducts are leaking into already conditioned areas, it’s not as big a problem as if the ducts are leaking into unconditioned areas such as crawl spaces, wall voids, or the attic. In the first case, the air is leaking into areas where it can help warm or cool your living spaces. However, ductwork leaks in areas that aren’t conditioned are a complete waste, and your HVAC equipment has to work that much harder to replace it.
As long as you can find and access the leaks, minor duct repair is fairly easy for homeowners. To start on your duct sealing project, begin by checking your ducts for leaks. Look for sections that should be joined, but have separated. Then examine the ducts for obvious holes.
Seal leaks using mastic sealant, butyl tape or foil tape. Look for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories logo on it. Avoid using standard gray duct tape because it tends to fail easily with the sort of temperature changes that ducts experience.
Be sure to insulate ducts that run through unconditioned areas, including the ducts found in the attic, basement, garage and crawlspaces.
Take extra time to ensure that the connections at vents and registers are sealed well. It’s common to find leaks and disconnected duct work where these vents meet the walls, floors and ceiling.
If you need professional help finding and sealing leaky ducts in your New Orleans area home, or have any A/C related questions, please contact us at Bryans United Air Conditioning.
Written by Zach Mouton
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