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Sealing and Repairing Ductwork Can Improve HVAC Performance

Cold Home-Boiler Troubles

If you have a forced-air heating and cooling system, there’s a system of ducts running throughout your home that’s used to deliver conditioned air. Most of these ducts are concealed inside ceilings, walls, attics and basements, so it can be difficult to notice when air leaks are present. But when air escapes through gaps, holes or cracks in ductwork, it not only increases monthly utility expenses, but also lowers indoor air quality and makes your home feel less comfortable. Therefore, sealing and repairing ductwork should be high on your priority list. Learn more about problem areas in your ductwork and what steps you should take to fix them.

Signs of Ductwork Issues

In the average house, approximately 20 to 30 percent of the air moving through ductwork escapes through poorly connected sections, gaps, holes and cracks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The following signs may mean you have problem areas:

  • You have rooms that seem difficult to heat and cool.

  • Your energy bills are too high during the winter and summer.

  • There are ducts that you’ve noticed are kinked or tangled.

  • Certain rooms are stuffy and never reach the desired comfort level.

Improving Airflow

Having a duct inspection can help pinpoint problem areas in your home more accurately. A pro can also offer repair tips and take care of areas that you can’t. In ductwork that you can get to, close air leaks with mastic sealant or metal tape. Disconnected sections should be fixed with metal fasteners. After sealing leaks, you should add a layer of insulation around ducts to improve energy efficiency.

Insulate Electrical Outlets

You may not think of electrical outlets as drafty spots in your house, but wires have to cut a path through walls to connect individual outlets to the grid. That means that outlets are often connected to paths through which cold air can travel. If you unscrew the faceplate of an outlet and find a cavity in the wall, you can fill it with caulk or foam sealant, and then place a foam gasket under the faceplate when you replace it.

Benefits of Sealing and Repairing Ductwork

  • You’ll save money on energy bills.

  • The life expectancy of the HVAC system will be extended as long as possible and it will experience fewer breakdowns.

  • The temperature throughout your home will be more consistent.

  • The chance that dust, mold, bacteria and harmful gases are released into your home is reduced.

For more tips on sealing and repairing ductwork, feel free to contact us at Tri-County Aire anytime.

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