If you’ve had high heating bills this winter, you should expect high cooling bills this summer. One of the most common reasons for this, as stated by the federal Energy Star program, are substantial energy losses through leaky and inefficient ductwork in the average home. Use these tips to plug the leak in your air ducts — and pocketbook — and reap more benefits, too!
Why Tight Ducts Matter
Residential ductwork is usually fabricated from thin sheet metal. Duct joints have a way of wiggling loose after time — especially if installation was substandard and poor sealing materials were used. This affects your home in many ways:
- Energy: Leaky ducts mean that heated and cooled airflow is escaping before it reaches where it matters most. A lack of insulation promotes energy losses through conduction.
- Comfort: Does your South Texas home have uneven temperatures and airflow? Inefficient ducts may be the problem.
- IAQ: Duct leaks pull air from your crawl space, walls, attic and/or garage and circulate the polluted air through your home. This could include harmful gases and contaminants, such as carbon monoxide, insulation fibers and VOCs.
Good Duct Design
Some duct leaks and insulation problems are easy to spot. Separated duct joints, rattling noises and dirt streaks at duct seams are obvious indicators. Single-walled ducts that are located outside the insulation barrier (e.g. in an unconditioned crawl space, attic, walls and/or garage) should be insulated.
- Sealing: Metal duct runs, branches, boots and vent connections should be tightly sealed with collars and metal tape. For the best results, use mastic or an aerosol sealant before taping.
- Insulating: Fiberglass insulation batts can be wrapped around round metal ducts. Rigid foam board works well for insulating square ducts.
Contacting a professional HVAC company has benefits. Some air ducts may be inaccessible due to location. You want to make sure cavities aren’t being used to convey airflow. Moreover, your HVAC technician uses a blower door test and other equipment to detect and find unseen leaks and to balance airflow.
Maximize ductwork efficiency in your South Texas home by contacting the professionals at CCAC today!
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 HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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