Tighter Ducts Do a Better Job of Keeping the Heat In
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Tighter Ducts Do a Better Job of Keeping the Heat In


You would not pay for a full tank of gasoline and then deliberately punch a hole in your car’s fuel line. But if your Portland area home’s ducts are not tightly sealed, you are doing almost the same thing with expensively heated air. No matter how efficiently your furnace operates, poorly sealed ducts rob you of energy dollars. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leaky ducts can reduce your furnace’s efficiency by up to 20 percent. So boost your overall energy efficiency, conserve resources and save money with tighter ducts.

Do It Yourself

Parts of your home’s ductwork are easily accessible, allowing you to get up close and make necessary repairs to achieve tighter ducts. Start in the attic, but leave the duct tape in the kitchen drawer. Use mastic sealant or adhesive-backed metal tape for your repairs.

  • Look for kinked flexible ductwork; straighten it out, being careful not to tear the soft duct material
  • Look for torn ducts; use mastic or adhesive-backed metal tape to reseal tears
  • Look for disconnects; reattach joints and seal them to get tighter ducts

Move to the occupied floors and seal registers and air vents, closing any gaps between registers and ducts.

Shift to the basement or crawlspace:

  • Insulate ductwork in unconditioned spaces, using rigid board insulation (not soft batts)
  • Straighten out kinked flexible ductwork
  • Repair tears and holes
  • Reattach disconnected ducts at seams and joints
  • Check the duct-to-furnace joint and reseal if needed

Enlist a Professional

A professional, reliable HVAC contractor can examine, evaluate and restore your home’s ducts far more thoroughly than you can. The contractor can determine if your return air ducts are correctly sized. Sealants available to HVAC contractors are better and stronger than the mastic or metal tape you can use.

The contractor can perform duct leakage testing (or blower door testing, an indirect measure) and combustion safety testing, which you as a homeowner cannot do. This ensures against backdrafting, a dangerous condition in which exhaust gases enter the home.

For more guidance with preventing heat loss in your Portland area home with tighter ducts, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.

Industry Affiliations

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