The air ducts in your home convey conditioned airflow away from your furnace and A/C and distribute it to the living spaces. So, when it comes to home energy losses and higher energy bills, ailing ductwork systems are often to blame. Read on to learn about common ductwork problems, and how to identify and address duct design issues.
Poor Duct Design and Your Pocketbook
Duct problems can cause energy losses in any home, depending on the design, installation techniques and upkeep. Following are common duct problems which contribute to as much as 30 percent energy losses in the typical home:
- Conditioned airflow escapes through leaks at loose duct connections and holes.
- Damaged or tangled flex ducts obstructs supply airflow.
- Bad duct design creates comfort problems and increases energy bills.
Before you visually inspect your ducts, you may listen and feel for signs of duct troubles. Rattling and clamoring noises from the vents indicate loose ducts. Uneven air pressure from the vents indicate incorrectly sized runouts.
For your visual inspection, look for disconnected or loose duct joints. Dirt streaks at joints or on insulation indicate air leaks, too. Turn on your heating or cooling system and feel for air leaks at joints. As you inspect the ductwork, keep in mind that any ductwork outside the living spaces should be insulated.
Addressing Duct Problems
If you you can access your ductwork easily enough, you may fix duct leaks with common materials found at your hardware store. Metal tape is used to wrap joints to seal duct leaks. Fiberglass insulation can be wrapped around your ducts to keep a lid on heating and cooling costs.
Uneven airflow is indicative of incorrect duct sizing and should be addressed by your HVAC professional. To set up an appointment for a duct inspection or repair, please contact Sobieski Services, Inc.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: Compfight