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Duct Testing Methodologies That Help Improve Performance

November 22, 2012 | Blog

Keeping your home’s ductwork in good repair is very important. You may have a brand new, energy-efficient HVAC system, but if the air is leaking out of your ducts before it can reach your vents, you’re still wasting energy. Leaky ducts can account for energy losses of up to 30 percent, so it’s necessary to locate the problem and fix it as soon as possible. And the best way to do that is with professional duct testing.

An HVAC professional can test the pressure of your ducts, to see how much air leaks out. There are two ways of doing this. The first is called pressurization subtraction. A high-powered fan called a blower door is connected to a pressure gauge and set up in your home’s main doorway. Your home is then pressurized and measured twice, with the duct system being blocked off the second time. Then the two readings are compared. While a blower door is great for finding places where air is leaking into your home from outside, it’s less accurate for measuring the air leaking out, via ductwork.

To get the most accurate results, make sure your HVAC technician performs the duct testing method. This method also uses a fan and a pressure gauge, to pressurize the ducts themselves, with the vents sealed. The gauge will then tell you the rate of air leakage in cubic feet per minute. If the rate is too high, your HVAC technician can advise you of what to do. Sealing the leaks may be enough, or if the leakage is great enough, you may need some major repairs, or even completely new ductwork.

Duct testing should be performed before purchasing a new heating or air conditioning unit. Or it should be done during the winter time if you think you may have problems with you ducts.  It’s important to make sure you have sound ductwork to complement the efficiency of your HVAC system.

For more home comfort advice, contact our experts at CCAC, Inc. We’ve been constantly concerned about customers’ heating and cooling needs on the Coastal Bend since 1979.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about duct testing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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