Identifying and Solving Duct Leak Problems

You may be surprised to learn that almost 40 percent of the air you have heated or cooled never makes it to the designated room. Duct leaks are the biggest cause. Even if you think that having the heated or cooled air in the house is enough, you should know that duct leaks could make certain rooms uncomfortable, and increase your utility bills. Here are some tips to locate and seal duct leaks in your home.

How Do I Know I Have Leaky Air Ducts?

There are a few simple ways to discover potential leaky ductwork throughout your home. You may be aware of rooms that are much cooler than the rest of the house in winter, or far warmer in summer. This is an indicator that the forced air is getting lost in the ductwork at some point before it reaches that room. Even if the room does not feel uncomfortable in temperature, it may feel stuffy, as if the room is not ventilated properly. When you find that turning up the furnace or air conditioner does not seem to solve either of these problems, you likely have duct leaks.

Where are Duct Leaks Typically Found?

In order to identify where the ductwork has leaks, you have to look at the ducts. They are often located in the basement, in the crawlspace or in the attic. You can take a look at it yourself. If the flexible ductwork has kinks or twists in it, that can be a likely source of a leak. Look for open holes in the equipment, particularly around connections. Duct leaks can also occur as a result of faulty installation. Hiring an HVAC professional in Sacramento can help you ensure that you find all of the leaks.

How are Ducts Sealed?

Once you know that you have duct leaks (and you probably do, even without inspecting them), you want to get them sealed. Some people use metal tape or mastic sealant to seal the leaks by themselves. However, this likely will not solve any problems related to installation. Professional duct sealing, which can usually be done by your HVAC technician, involves testing the supply of forced air and the rate of air return, as well as the sealing of registers. It may also include insulating the ductwork. This combination typically improves your HVAC efficiency quite dramatically.

If you have never had your home inspected for duct leaks, it is quite likely that you are losing at least some HVAC efficiency as a result of these leaks. Fortunately, you can tell you have leaks by the presence of uncomfortable rooms in your home. With attentive care from your Sacramento HVAC professional, you can seal your ductwork, increase your energy efficiency, and be more comfortable in every room in your home. For more information about duct sealing in your home, contact the experts at Ace Plumbing.