Your Leaky Duct System: It’s Compromising Your Air Quality and Costing You Money
The typical duct system leaks up to 40 percent of heated and cooled air. If you have a leaky duct system, now is your chance to learn how leaks occur, their drawbacks, and how to seal them.
How Leaks Occur Homes are not unchanging systems. Parts wear out as the home ages, sometimes causing a leaky duct system. Air escapes through weak points in the ductwork, which are caused by:
- Dried out tape adhesive on ductwork joints
- Torn flexible ducts
- Loose ductwork
- Wobbly registers and vents
Drawbacks of a Leaky Duct System
It’s worthwhile to address leaks in the ductwork because leaking ducts:
- Send large amounts of conditioned air into unconditioned spaces
- Suck unconditioned air into your home
- Increase heating and cooling loads (a system leaking 20 percent of the air passing through it forces the HVAC equipment to work 50 percent harder)
- Increase energy costs due to overworking the system
- Tamper with indoor humidity levels due to unconditioned air entering the space
- Introduce polluted air inside if an improperly sealed air handler is located in the garage or attic
- Result in mold and mildew problems in some homes
How to Seal Leaky Ducts
Hire a licensed HVAC contractor to check for ductwork leaks during annual HVAC maintenance. If the technician finds any leaks, he will seal them with an approved material, such as duct mastic or acrylic-adhesive foil tape. Despite its misleading name, duct tape is not a proper material to seal ductwork. If a technician totes in duct tape for the repair work, hire someone else. The rubber-adhesive, cloth-backed tape fails much sooner than foil tape in this application because heated ductwork causes the duct tape to lose adhesion and peel away.
For more ways to address your leaky duct system and improving HVAC efficiency, please contact the professionals at Sobieski Services, Inc. Our technicians are properly trained to repair leaky ducts and boost system performance. Call us with your questions today; 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: Timo Heuer