You can have the highest-quality furnace or A/C in the world but if your home’s ductwork is defective, you’ll still waste money on energy and not be as comfortable as you’d like. Your indoor air quality might suffer as well. Find out why tight ducts are so essential to effective heating and cooling.
The Importance of Tight Ducts
Most American homes have forced-air heating and cooling systems. A main HVAC system (usually a furnace, A/C or heat pump) creates warm or cool air, and a powerful fan blows that conditioned air throughout your home. It reaches its destination via a network of ducts and registers. Supply ducts take the conditioned air to your rooms, while return ducts and registers draw the air back into the equipment to be heated or cooled all over again. Of course, you want to avoid faulty ductwork, where ducts aren’t well connected to each other, to registers, or to the furnace plenum. Negative consequences of ducts that aren’t tight include:
- Wasted energy, as conditioned air leaks out into unconditioned areas such as crawl spaces, the attic or garage, and wall voids. When this happens, your HVAC equipment must work all the harder to move air to rooms that need heating or cooling.
- Certain rooms that never seem to be cool or warm enough, because so much conditioned air is being lost before it ever gets there. This issue is exacerbated with rooms at the end of long duct runs that are leaking air.
- Indoor air quality that degrades as dirty air from crawl spaces and other unconditioned areas gets sucked into leaky ducts, as a result of negative air pressure. That dirty air winds up circulating throughout your home with the conditioned air.
Achieving Tight Ductwork
While you can find and seal accessible and obviously leaking ducts yourself using mastic sealant and/or metal-backed tape, your best bet is to hire a professional to inspect your ductwork, seal leaks, and apply insulation where necessary
For a professional ductwork inspection in your Portland area home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.