Leaky air ducts are a problem that affects the majority of homes and commercial buildings. Having lots of air leaks in the ductwork in your home or business can cost you quite a bit of money and also lead to poor indoor air quality. In this article, we’ll explain all of the benefits you can enjoy by having your ductwork professionally sealed and also how to spot the signs that your ductwork is leaking.
Why Leaky Air Ducts Are Such a Big Problem
Most air ducts will last for around 30 years, and you should always make sure to have a professional fully reseal your ducts at least once every 10 years. As sheet metal ductwork ages, it tends to degrade to where the individual ducts have numerous gaps, cracks and holes where air can leak out. While leaky ductwork may not seem like that big of a deal, it is actually one of the worst of all HVAC issues.
Leaky air ducts will make your heating and cooling system much less effective since lots of the hot or cold air will escape instead of being blown out into every room. This decreased effectiveness means that your HVAC system will waste lots of energy, causing your heating and air conditioning costs to be much higher than they should. In fact, studies have shown that leaky ductwork can increase the amount of energy a heating and air conditioning system uses by 25-30% or more. This energy waste issue shows how having your ducts resealed can save you lots of money.
Having your ductwork sealed can also help you to avoid costly furnace, AC or heat pump repairs and also potentially extend the lifespan of your HVAC units. When your ductwork has lots of leaks and your heating and air conditioning aren’t working as effectively, your HVAC system will have to run longer and work harder. This puts added strain on the units and leads to them suffering greater wear and tear, which in turn increases the chances of the units breaking down.
If your HVAC system isn’t working as effectively due to leaky ductwork, your comfort can also start to suffer. When ducts have lots of leaks where air can escape, it leads to the volume of hot or cold air flowing through the ducts decreasing. This issue means that you’ll often have almost no air flowing out of the vents near the ends of the duct branches, leading to some rooms constantly feeling too warm or too chilly.
Leaky ductwork also directly contributes to indoor air quality issues that can be overcome by having your ducts sealed. If your air ducts have numerous cracks, gaps or holes, dust and other allergens can easily get drawn inside. When your heating or air conditioning runs, all of the allergens will then start to blow out of the vents in every room. This can cause your home to be overly dusty and also lead to worsening allergy and asthma symptoms. Leaks can also cause condensation to form inside the ducts, which can lead to mold growing in the ducts and your HVAC system blowing mold spores around your home.
Signs That Your Ducts Are Leaking and Should Be Resealed
It’s always important to have a technician check the condition of your home’s ductwork as part of your annual cooling or heating maintenance service. In most homes, the majority of the air ducts are hidden inside of walls and ceilings, which makes it mostly impossible to perform a visual inspection and check for leaks or signs of damage. This means that the best, and sometimes only, way to check for leaks is to have a technician measure the air pressure inside your ducts when your HVAC system is running. The technician can then easily analyze how much air is being lost to determine whether your ducts should be resealed.
There are also a variety of signs you should watch for that can indicate your ducts are leaking and need to be resealed. For instance, if both your heating and cooling costs are higher than they used to be, it likely means there is a problem with your ductwork. The same is true if your heating and air conditioning are no longer working as effectively or if both your furnace and AC almost always run for more than 30 minutes at a time. If you only have problems with your heating or air conditioning, the issue lies with your furnace or AC. If neither one works well, it means you have airflow issues caused by either leaks in the ductwork or a blower that isn’t working properly.
Another sign that you need to have your ductwork tested and possibly resealed is if your home constantly feels too warm in the hotter months and cooler than you want in the winter. Hot spots in some parts of the home in summer or cold spots in the winter are also good indications that your ductwork is leaking air.
Why Aeroseal Is the Best Duct Sealing Option
At Goettl's High Desert Mechanical, we proudly offer Aeroseal air duct sealing. Aeroseal is always the best option when resealing leaky ducts, as it doesn’t require cutting out drywall to access ducts behind walls or ceilings like you’d have to do when resealing with foil tape or mastic. It also only takes a few hours to seal up the entire ductwork system, whereas it would typically take at least a full day or two to seal everything up by hand.
The Aeroseal process starts off with the technician blocking all of the supply vents in the home with plastic and tape so that no air can flow out of them. When the supply vents are blocked off, the only place that the air in the ducts can flow is out through any holes, gaps and cracks. After blocking the vents, the technician will then inject a special non-toxic compound into the ductwork through a return air vent. They will then turn the blower on so that it starts moving air through the ducts. When the blower is on, the air will carry the compound throughout the duct system. As air rushes out through any leaks, the compound will adhere to the edges of any holes or cracks and quickly fill them up to stop the leak.
Once the process is complete, the technician will once again measure the air pressure in your ductwork to ensure that everything is fully sealed up. You will then receive a certification of completion for your records that shows how much air was lost before and after the process.
In addition to duct sealing, our team of certified HVAC technicians can expertly handle all of your heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs. We work with both residential and commercial HVAC systems, and we provide professional installation, maintenance and repair services for central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and geothermal HVAC systems. We have been serving customers in Camp Verde and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years, and we’re the ones to trust if you need any HVAC or plumbing service. We’re also available 24/7 should you ever have any plumbing, heating or air conditioning emergencies. For more information on the benefits of Aeroseal air duct sealing or to schedule an appointment to have your ductwork inspected and tested for leaks, give us a call today.