When your home has a forced-air system, it is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the air that travels through that framework is lost due to leaks, holes, and badly connected ducts. While that may not seem like a lot to some, even this percentage can drastically drive up your monthly energy bills.
If you have noticed the signs of faulty ductwork, the use of proper duct sealing can immediately improve the functioning capabilities of your forced-air system, and significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills before the next pay period.
So, what is the best way to handle this situation?
Determining if you have Proper Duct Sealing
In order to determine if you are losing energy efficiency due to leaks, holes, or bad connections, there are a few signs you can look for to give you a better idea. These signs include:
- High winter and summer utility bills
- Difficult rooms to heat or cool
- Rooms that feel over-stuffy or never comfortable
- Ducts located in an attic, crawlspace, or garage
- Tangled or kinked ducts located throughout the system
If you notice any of these signs, chances are you are definitely losing energy due to a faulty duct system. The real question now is what steps you can take to fix this problem.
How to Easily Improve Duct Performance
Most often, forced-air systems are located in extremely tight crawlspaces in the home. These include locations inside walls, attics, and the tight corners of basements. Because of these tight quarters, getting access to repair them can be difficult, however, there are steps you can take to improve duct performance around your home.
A lot of people will choose the do-it-yourself method when it comes to repairing faulty systems. Simple steps in this process include sealing air leaks with industry-recommended sealers such as mastic sealant or metal tape. Whatever you choose, you have to be sure to avoid duct tape. While duct tape supposedly can fix anything, it is not as long lasting as these other methods and the trick to all of this is not having to repeat it.
As well as using sealants, it is also recommended that you insulate all the ducts you can access, such as those located in attics, basements, and garages. This, along with making sure the connections at vents and registers are well sealed, where they enter floors, walls, and ceilings, allows easy solutions to leaking ducts.
Now, of course, if you are unable to gain access to these key points in your duct system, you can still always hire a professional contractor to do a thorough duct evaluation. If you are located in the Southern California or the Los Angeles area, most HVAC contractors also repair ductworks on top of their regular services.
The benefits of having a well-functioning forced-air duct system go beyond just saving money on energy bills. While that is plenty reason enough to embark on this project, having a well-sealed duct system also makes your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safer for yourself and loved ones.
If you have noticed that something is off with your forced-air duct system, take a few minutes to go around the house and look for the aforementioned signs to determine if you are possibly losing energy efficiency due to leaks, holes, or poor connections. Doing so will allow you to pin-point key locations in the system that need work, and make your home a more comfortable environment, while saving your hard earned money.