Air and energy leaks in ductwork of your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system can account for a loss of as much as 20 percent or more of the air that should be heating or cooling your home. However, sealing your ductwork will reduce or eliminate this wasteful loss of energy, thereby increasing your home’s comfort level while also reducing your energy bills.
Here is a brief guide to duct sealing strategies that you can use to improve your Portland-area home.
Symptoms of air loss
There are four major symptoms of ductwork leaks, including:
- Higher than normal energy bills: Unusually high heating or cooling bills, which you can’t attribute to increased use of your HVAC system or significant weather changes, could indicate that you’re losing your costly conditioned air through ductwork leaks.
- Uneven heating or cooling: If you have rooms or sections of your home in which you notice issues, such as stuffiness, inconsistent levels of heating or cooling, or increased amounts of airborne dust and particles, you might need to seal your ducts.
- Visible damage to your ductwork: This can include loose, detached, or missing sections. You may not be able to see damage. If you suspect ductwork damage, contact your HVAC contractor, who should have specialized equipment to be able to pinpoint issues.
- Insufficient insulation: If you have uninsulated or poorly insulated ducts in crawl spaces, garages, unfinished rooms or other unconditioned areas, you could be losing your conditioned air.
You can seal your ductwork yourself or hire an HVAC professional to do it. Since ductwork is often difficult to access, it’s often better to hire a pro for the job. Here is a quick guide to duct sealing tasks that your HVAC contractor likely will do:
- Check the entire length of the duct network for problems and possible leaks.
- Repair or replaced damaged duct sections, reconnect loose sections tightly, and straighten out any bent or kinked ducts.
- Seal holes, cracks, or other openings in the ductwork.
- Seal connections between all duct sections with mastic, a specialized sealant, or metal tape. Avoid using standard duct tape, because the adhesive on the tape can dry out and fail over time.
- Make sure ducts are connected securely to registers and vents.
- Test ducts for possible carbon-monoxide leaks, to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Roth Heating & Cooling has been a supplier of professional HVAC sales, maintenance and repair in Portland, Bend, Salem, Canby, and the surrounding Oregon communities for more than 35 years. Contact us today for more information that you can use as a guide to duct sealing and how it can improve your home comfort while lowering your seasonal heating and cooling bills.