Why You Might Need Duct Sealing
Air ducts are one of the most important features of a home’s HVAC system.
They transport air and help to improve energy efficiency in the system. However, if air ducts are not correctly sealed or there is damage to the seal, it will result in a system that is not working as it should.
As a homeowner in Arizona, you cannot afford unnecessary spending when it comes to your energy bills. Worse still, ineffective air ducts mean the HVAC system has to work harder to keep you cool under the sweltering sun. You will find you are struggling to keep the temperature at a comfortable level and paying more out in maintenance costs.
HVAC systems that are not supported by properly sealed ducts won’t last as long as expected. So, unless you can afford to replace the main unit and components frequently, take the time to ensure your ducts are sealed and leak free.
A Proper Seal is Important
A leak in air ducts is not a trifling matter by any stretch of the imagination. You may lose as much as 30 percent of the air traveling through the system which amounts to a considerable waste of energy. From the perspective of energy bills, the loss of air from leaking air ducts may result in a 40 percent increase. For the sake of your comfort, sanity, and bank account you should make a point of regularly inspecting your air ducts for leaks.
You also have to remember your ducts are pumping air all around your home. The very quality of the air you breathe may be affected as dust and other containments find their way into the ducts. It is especially important to consider air ducts running through spaces that are poorly insulated. By improving sealing in air ducts in these areas you will also see energy savings through improved insulation.
Checking for Leaks
High energy costs are often a real giveaway you are venting air – and not in a good way. If your HVAC unit is relatively new or well maintained, there is a very good chance your higher energy costs are a direct result of one or more leaks in your air ducts. However, energy costs are not the only sign to look for.
If you are finding it increasingly difficult to keep the temperature in rooms at tolerable levels, or there are inconsistencies in temperature, you are getting (quite literally) warmer. Do not assume you will be able to detect leaks in the area which seems most affected.
Air flow may still provide considerable cooling in a room that is immediately next to where there is a break in the seal of a duct. It makes sense to check any accessible air ducts for cool air leaking, but it is by no means a guarantee you will identify the problem, even assuming there is only a single leak.
Besides checking for leaking air, you want to conduct a more up-close inspection. So long as it is safe to do so, check for damaged tape or mastic around joints, loose joints, and other damage such as holes in the ducts. Once you have ruled out the areas you can access, it is time to consider those that are hidden. This will almost certainly require the services of a professional.
Sealing Air Ducts
The good news is, leaks in air ducts are sealable in the majority of cases. The less than comforting news is that sealing ductwork is not always a simple task. The job becomes more difficult still if you are dealing with leaks originating in a section of your air ducts that in inaccessible.
The greatest problem you will face is if there are loose or disconnected joints. You will need the right mastic or foil type for use with HVAC systems, so forget about using a roll of tape you found in your toolbox. The regular duct tape you purchase in a store won’t work, either. As well as which, you will need screws to secure rigid duct joints and the right clamps for flexible ducts. The seal has to be perfect; otherwise, all you are doing is putting a band-aid on the problem.
Other considerations include patching up holes and working out kinks in a flexible duct. These are not tasks that are easily accomplished on your first attempt and without training. One false step and you could actually end up causing significantly more damage.