When Your Ductwork Isn’t Sealed Right, You’re Losing More Than Air
If your ductwork isn’t well-sealed and insulated, expensive, conditioned air could be seeping steadily out of your home. But inefficient ductwork is responsible for more than air loss. It also compromises indoor air quality and stresses your heating and cooling system. The Energy Star program estimates that the average home in Delaware loses around 20 percent of its produced energy simply because the ducts aren’t well-sealed and insulated. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remedy the problem.
In a forced-air system, conditioned air is literally forced through the ducts by the blower in your HVAC equipment. In summer, this air is cool, while in winter it’s hot. These temperature changes and the rate at which the air is forced through can eventually result in disconnected joints and ductwork tears. Also, many Delaware homes have ducts that are exposed in areas like the garage, attic or crawlspace. These can become dented, torn or kinked, all resulting in energy loss.
Unsealed ductwork can also draw in unfiltered air through leaks and tears. Contaminants like mold spores, allergens, dust and toxins from building materials and insulation can all be circulated through your home. Since poor indoor air quality can lead to significant health concerns, it’s a good idea to stop pollutants at the source.
It can be difficult to know whether you’re losing much energy throughout most of your duct system because the ducts themselves are hidden behind walls. However, if you have exposed ducts, you can take the following steps:
- Straighten and smooth any ducts that have gotten kinked or crunched.
- Seal rips and joints with mastic, not duct tape. Duct mastic comes in easy-to-operate caulk dispensers or in tubs. It’s initially goopy, but hardens after application.
- Use a high-quality aluminum tape for flex ducts.
- At the plenum — the box where the ducts leave the HVAC equipment — seal joints with mastic.
- Make sure ducts are tightly connected to registers.
If you’re concerned that your ductwork may be wasting energy, call Sobieski Services. Our friendly team will get your duct sealing job done right.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).