Duct Testing: What It Is, And Why You Should Do It
If your home is several decades old, duct testing is something to consider if you’re looking to make your home more energy-efficient since your ducts probably aren’t what they used to be. In many cases, they weren’t that great to begin with. Ductwork installed during original construction may well have been made for an era when cutting costs took precedence over saving energy. Today, most of that original equipment ductwork has silently deteriorated and is leaking up to one-third of the heated or cooled air it’s supposed to convey.
Here’s how professional duct testing by an HVAC contractor works:
- After sealing all supply and return registers, a duct pressurizing system is connected to the air handler. The system incorporates a fan and two pressure sensors to measure the pressure inside the ducts and airflow through the fan. The sensors are connected to a computer programmed with information such as the size of the ducts and the square footage of the home.
- The technician activates the fan to pressurize the ducts to a standard reading. An air-tight duct system will pressurize quickly. However, if your ducts have major air leaks such as segments that have become disconnected, it may not be possible to pressurize the system adequately.
- When the pressure inside the ducts is stabilized, the technician will observe the sensor reading that reflects airflow through the fan. A healthy duct system should have low airflow, while leaky ducts will show a higher reading.
- With input from both sensors plus system information already entered, the computer will calculate the percentage of system airflow that’s escaping through leaks.
- While the ducts are pressurized, the technician can inject fog or artificial smoke into the system to identify the location of leaks. These will typically include duct joints that were inadequately sealed with duct tape that has long since deteriorated, joined segments of ductwork that have worked loose over time, leaky seams and leaks due to rust or corrosion.
Contact us about duct testing to solve the mystery of those high utility bills.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wilmington, Delaware and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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