Ducts Leaking? Why is it so Important to Seal Them?

Everyone knows that the cost of heating and cooling your home can hit your wallet really hard. You could be using oil, gas or electricity; but it doesn’t make that much difference if your heating or air conditioning literally seeps away. It’s still wasteful. In fact, experts estimate that 10-30% of warm air and/or cool air can be lost through leaky ductwork. Also, a leaky duct return increases the work of the unit trying to pull air to the machine.

What are Leaky Ducts?

Ducts are those metal corridors that warm or cool air goes through to provide ventilation to your home. When you have metal on metal duct work, the ductwork may not fit completely. As time passes, the joints can separate, leaving open slits, or fall apart all together.

When this happens, air from the basement, crawl space or loft can be pulled into the house, making hot or cold spots. Plus, there are some really unhealthy contaminates that can make your home have a strange smell or make your family sick.

So, What’s the Answer?

A certified HVAC technician will be able to seal those cracks, slits and breakdowns with mastic adhesive and a good professional-level foil tape. Despite what you may have been told in the past, duct tape is not the answer. While they are there, the technician can also assess the rest of your duct work and fix the problem.
You have to keep in mind that not all duct work is where you can see it. It runs under floors, in the walls, upstairs to the loft, through the crawl space and other places one doesn’t normally think to check. There maybe a need to use a different type of aerosol product in some of these areas. This technique virtually seals the ductwork from the inside out and reduces the likelihood of further leaks.

Do They Test for Leaks?

Actually, they do with a diagnostic tool designed to measure how airtight the ducts are for heating and ventilating systems. It’s basically a big fan which has been synchronized to measure the rate flow of air and a pressure device to check how much air is passing through the system.
Duct leakage testers can be used in almost any structure that has a forced air delivery system. It can help to pinpoint in what areas the leaks are so they can be repaired.
To conclude, air duct leaks can cause more than just a cold or hot environment. These leaks can spread contaminates throughout your home or business, bring in mold or other contaminants which can make people ill. By using a competent HVAC company, you can have the duct work tested and repaired. This will not only save you money by lowering your heating or cooling bills, it will make the unit work more efficiently and last longer to avoid those costly repairs or replacements to your furnace or other forced air unit.