The Importance of Sealing Air Handler CabinetsAir handlers are responsible for filtering and distributing conditioned air throughout your home via your duct system. Improperly sealing air handler cabinets can cause the following HVAC system problems:

Reduced Efficiency

An HVAC system works best when the supply and return airflows are perfectly balanced. If there’s a leak in the supply side of the air handler cabinet, conditioned air can escape before it reaches its intended destination, making your home less comfortable. To compensate, your HVAC system will increase the supply of conditioned air until the appropriate setting is reached on your thermostat. Furthermore, because your system is working harder, it will cost you more to operate it.

Pressure Imbalance

If the supply airflow is reduced by leaks in the air handler and the return air is still flowing at the normal rate, the pressure in your home may become negative. This will suck in outdoor air through any open windows or doors, as well as through random leaks in your home’s outer envelope. This unconditioned air will make your HVAC system work harder to maintain the proper temperature, reducing efficiency.

Reduced Air Quality

Leaks in the return side of your air handler cabinet can let air bypass the air filter when it’s drawn into your HVAC system. This can distribute irritants, such as dust, mold spores, pollen and other airborne irritants, throughout your home, causing health issues, especially for those with asthma or allergies.

If your HVAC system uses gas or oil for heating, or if it’s located near another fuel-burning appliance, there’s a possibility that carbon monoxide is being sucked into the air handler cabinet when the appliance is malfunctioning, causing serious illnesses or even death.

Sealing air handler cabinets correctly can prevent these problems, and it’s a task that should be completed by a professional HVAC technician. For more information about sealing air handler cabinets, or for scheduling an appointment, contact our staff at Around the Clock Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the Los Angeles area since 1967.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air handlers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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