The ducts in your home ferry heated and cooled air through the walls and out of your vents, but what happens when the ducts are in need of some TLC?
Duct sealing is a process that is common in homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems, where the duct systems that run throughout the house are sealed with a mixture of professional grade sealants, such as duct tape, sealing mastic, and spray foam insulation. On average, 20%-30% of the conditioned air within the ducts is lost to leakage--poor or loose connections and holes--which can lead to a significant spike in your energy bills, and an inability to keep areas of the home comfortable.
Signs You Need Duct Sealing
There are several common signs of leaking and damage duct systems, such as:
- Noises From The Ducts: You might hear banging or clanging around in the air vents on occasion, and this is a cause for concern. Ideally, there should be nothing but air within those ducts, and noises indicate that debris and objects have entered the duct system and are wreaking havoc inside.
- Excessive Dust Around Air Vents: When there's leakage in the air duct system, the holes and loosened connections can allow in free-floating dust and carry it, eventually expelling it out of an air vent and back into the home. This can lead to a variety of unpleasant things, such as allergies and trouble with preexisting conditions.
- Persistent Smell Of Mold & Mildew: Leaks, tears, and poor connections in the ducts can lead to inconsistent temperatures and the formation of condensation. Given just a little bit of time, mold will develop and spread at an alarming rate. Mold and mildew are well known to cause a variety of health issues, and can even be toxic to humans and pets.
What Causes Duct Problems?
There are many reasons that ducts may develop leakage issues. Often, the problem originates around the joints where the duct sections come together during installation. The installation could have been rushed or the wrong materials could have been used.
Prolonged use and a lack of regular cleaning and maintenance could be a contributing factor as well. Over time, the materials naturally degrade or loose objects can get caught up in the ducts and cause damage or loosen the connections between the ducts.
Benefits of Duct Sealing
When properly maintained, ducts are an essential part of indoor comfort. If you've noticed that certain areas of your home are inconsistent in temperature, uncomfortable and bothersome, it could benefit you to look into professional duct sealing. With proper duct sealing, you'll find increased indoor comfort, reduced energy bills, and even better indoor air quality--but the benefits don't stop there.
With proper duct sealing you'll experience:
- Increased Air Flow & Better Control Of HVAC Systems
With leaks and gaps in the ducts, air escapes from the duct system, into the areas between the heating and air conditioning units, leaving you without great control over the temperature within the home. Duct sealing fills the gaps and holes within the system, allowing you proper influence over the internal temperature of your house.
- Improved HVAC System Efficiency and Performance
Air leaks within the duct system allow air to escape, forcing your HVAC system to overwork itself. The system can't keep up with the inconsistent temperatures and works itself too hard, exhausting the system into needing more repairs than normal, and potentially shortening the lifespan of the system overall.
- Reduced Energy Bills
An investment in duct sealing will pay itself back with the immediate drop in costly energy bills. Without the need to counteract air loss from within the ducts, the HVAC system will run more efficiently and the household bills will become a little less expensive.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality
Duct sealing does more than help keep the home more comfortable and cut a percentage out of the bills--it also helps to improve indoor air quality. Leaky ducts can pick up dirty, polluted air and distribute it throughout the home. By investing in professional duct sealing, the ducts can no longer allow in irritants such as:
- Mold & Mildew,
- Exhaust Fumes,
- And more.
DIY vs Professional Duct Sealing
It's not always obvious that there are leaks within the duct system. A typical home will have somewhere between 30 and 90 feet of ductwork, and there could be gaps and holes anywhere along that length, making it a difficult and ill-advised DIY. The materials needed are more advanced than the typical home handyman may have in their toolbox: professional-grade duct tape, spray foam insulation--which gives off toxic fumes and requires protective equipment--and sealing mastic. In addition, an energy efficiency contractor will have professional-grade training and experience with a professional company backing their workmanship. Overall, professional duct sealing is a far more long-term and sustainable solution as opposed to a DIY job.
Finding A Duct Sealing Contractor
If you've been experiencing issues with home comfort and think that you could be in need of duct sealing, HomePro Match is here to help, with a database of trusted, highly trained, and experienced local contractors to help you with any and all of your home improvement needs! Reach out for your free, no-obligation estimate, today!