Tightly Sealed Ducts Are Just As Important In Summer
In far too many homes, tightly sealed ducts are the exception, not the rule. Nationwide, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that air leakage from ducts averages 20 percent of total system airflow. However, surveys in some individual states have found that number to be as high as 75 percent. There’s no more direct waste of conditioned air and money than duct leakage and no more immediate way to improve energy efficiency and lower cooling costs than sealing ducts.
Your HVAC contractor can pressure test your system to calculate the amount of leakage and pinpoint the location of those leaks. Here are some of the benefits you’ll derive this summer from tightly sealed ducts:
- Greater comfort – Duct leaks not only spill cooled air into unconditioned zones of the home, they disrupt the balance of air pressure in living spaces. A neutral air balance is necessary for creating optimum room comfort. Rooms under either positive or negative air pressure due to leaky ductwork lose cooling to the exterior of the house or draw hot air in from outside. This negates the effect of your A/C and increases utility costs.
- Indoor air quality – Since return ducts operate under negative pressure, leaks in returns suck air into the system rather than leaking air out. Unfortunately, return ducts are routed through areas of the home with unconditioned, unfiltered air such as the crawl space under your floor or the dusty attic. Air infiltrating from these areas may be contaminated with mold spores, bacteria or other pollutants.
- Safety – Your home probably includes gas-fired appliances such as a water heater or furnace. These units vent hazardous combustion by-products like carbon monoxide gas to the exterior. A negative air pressure condition inside the home caused by duct leakage can pull these health hazards back into the house and contaminate your breathing air.
Sobieski Services offers inspection, testing and repair to ensure you get all the benefits of tightly sealed ducts. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Lim CK