You have your home all prepared for the winter: the windows are caulked, weather stripping is around the outside doors, the insulation is repaired or replaced, and you’ve arrange for professional maintenance for your heating system. That should make your home energy efficient and keep the heat trapped indoors where it belongs. Have you missed anything?
Maybe… what about the condition of your air ducts? Bad ductwork that contains gaps and leaks can literally steal money from you—right through your energy bills!
According to the Department of Energy, around 30% of the air that travels through a ventilation system can be lost to leaks along the ducts. That is a lot of air that you pay to heat, but which simply escapes into closed-in parts of the house or the attic, doing no good at all. All your other efforts at maintaining energy efficiency will go to waste because of leaky air ducts.
What can I do about this?
First, you need to know that the problem exists. Low airflow from the vents, odd smells from the vents, and spikes in your energy bills are good warning signs. But to know for certain, you should schedule professional duct testing with HVAC technicians. They will use special equipment that will alter the pressure inside the ventilation system, and then measure with gauges how fast the pressure drops. This will inform them there are leaks in the ducts and how numerous they are. The technicians will then locate the damaged areas.
At this point, you can have the professionals seal the ducts. (Yes, professionals: this isn’t a task that “duct tape” can handle.) The technicians will use special metallic tapes and mastic sealant to close up the holes so that you have an airtight ventilation system once more.
Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration provides both duct testing and duct sealing services in Keithville, LA.