The Importance of Duct Sealing in Commercial Buildings
The heating and cooling needs of a commercial facility are substantially more extensive than those of a residential structure. When your HVAC system starts showing signs of being unable to keep up with the demands of the season, take a careful look at the ductwork to see if some of the problems can be resolved through duct sealing. Here is a brief introduction to duct sealing and why it is important in your commercial building.
Why Duct Sealing?
Your commercial heating and cooling system is connected to points throughout your facility by the ductwork. This ductwork, usually consisting of a network of large pipes, provides a pathway for heated or cooled air to travel from your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or boiler to the inside of your commercial building. The ducts direct all of the conditioned air produced by your HVAC system. Any problems in the duct system — broken seals, loose or missing sections, detached pipes, or damaged ducts — can cause substantial air leaks that will result in lost energy and money. Duct sealing, and the careful inspection and repair of the ductwork, will prevent these problems. The conditioned air you pay for will reach your indoor spaces, your HVAC system will work at its best possible level, and you’ll pay less to keep your commercial building comfortable.
Signs of Problems in Your Ductwork
If there are problems in your ductwork, there are likely to be one or more reliable signs of trouble. These signs include:
- Complaints of discomfort from employees or customers: If your staff or customers have mentioned that the inside of your commercial building is too hot or too cool for the season, the cause could be in the ductwork.
- Inconsistent heating or cooling throughout the inside of your commercial building: Ductwork leaks can prevent conditioned air from getting where it belongs, which can result in inconsistent heating or cooling in areas where there are leaks in the ducts.
- Reductions in indoor air quality: If there has been a reduction in indoor air quality, such as an increase in dust and particulates in your indoor air, it could be a sign of broken seals or leaks in the ductwork. Gaps or broken seals can allow dust and other material to be pulled into the ductwork and expelled into your indoor spaces.
- Unexplained increases in your monthly heating or cooling bills: Air leaks in the ductwork can cause substantial loss of energy and corresponding increases in your heating or cooling expenses. You end up paying more to keep your indoor spaces warm or cool without any appreciable improvement in comfort.
The Process of Duct Sealing
Duct sealing should be performed by your local trusted HVAC professional. Duct sealing tasks should include:
- A thorough inspection of your HVAC system’s duct network: This end-to-end examination allows your technician to find and repair problems everywhere in the duct system.
- Replacement or repair of duct sections: Any missing or damaged sections of ductwork should be replaced or, if possible, repaired. Kinks, dents, and other problems should be removed.
- Reseating of duct sections: Any loose duct sections should be reset so that they fit tightly together with neighboring sections. The HVAC unit and supply registers should be checked to ensure tight connections of ductwork in these areas.
- Ductwork sealing: All connections between sections of ductwork should be properly sealed with mastic, a specialized rubbery compound designed especially for ducts. Metal tape can also be used. Connections can also be mechanically fastened with sheet metal screws. Standard duct tape should be avoided because the adhesive can dry out and cause the tape to fall away.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information about duct sealing and why it is important in a commercial building, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!