If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, and your home isn’t as comfortable as it should be, you may need to take a look at your ducts. Ductwork that’s improperly sealed accounts for a lot of heating and cooling issues. It also costs Northeast Ohio homeowners hundreds of dollars each year. A typical forced-air home loses 20% of its conditioned air through gaps and leaks in the ducts. When this happens, your system has to work harder to keep you comfortable. This means higher energy bills and a shorter life span for equipment components.
How do you know if your ducts are improperly sealed? Here are a few clues:
- High energy bills
- Rooms that are hard to heat or cool
- Rooms that are stuffy or dusty
- Tangled or kinked ducts
- Exposed ducts in the garage, crawlspace or attic
- Dark streaks appearing on the duct work where leaks occur. (add)
Do any of these apply to you? If so, checking your ducts is a simple way to see if you can solve these problems. You can do it yourself, but we recommend that a qualified HVAC technician do it for you. When we seal ducts, we follow these steps:
1. Inspect all ducts, including those in the attic, basement, garage and crawlspace.
2. Seal leaks with mastic, metal tape or an approved sealant. Do not use duct tape– it doesn’t last.
3. Check registers and air returns. Seal ducts tightly to them.
4. Insulate with R-6 or higher around exposed ducts, generally found in the garage, attic or basement.
5. Start up the system to evaluate air flow and conduct a combustion safety test and an air flow test. Interestingly, sometimes other problems can be created once the ducts are sealed.
Keeping your home clean and energy efficient could just be a matter of sealing up your ductwork. Taking the time to maintain your ducts brings you increased comfort, better indoor air quality, improved safety and savings of up to 20% off your energy bill. So don’t neglect it! Even though you can’t see it, your ducts are working hard for you.
P.K. Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between. To get started, check out our website.