Ducts are an integral part of any forced air heating and cooling system, but because they’re hidden away behind walls, ceilings and in attics, many Forney, TX, homeowners owners simply forget about them. Unfortunately, forgetting about ductwork can have unpleasant consequences for the health and well-being of the building’s occupants. Ignoring ductwork can result in poor indoor air quality. It can also hurt your bank account and reduce indoor comfort. The upshot is that maintaining ductwork is as important as your regular heating and cooling maintenance.
What Happens When You Have Ductwork Leaks?
As time passes, ducts can develop holes and cracks. The ducts can pull away from their connections, thereby creating leaks. When ducts have leaks, dirt, dust, debris, pests, microbes and allergens can all invade your HVAC system. Of equal concern for homeowners is the expense and waste of heating and cooling air that “goes out the window,” although in this case, the air “goes out the leak.” This turns energy efficiency upside down and propels your heating and cooling costs into sky-high mode. It also puts your HVAC in the position of having to overwork itself trying to make up for all the heated and cooled air that’s being wasted.
How Do I Know If My Ducts Need Sealing?
Although you may be unable to access and inspect ductwork yourself, there are a few telltale signs that can tip you off if leaks exist. Here are a few examples:
- High utility bills
- Aggravated allergies and asthma
- Symptoms of poor indoor air quality like frequent colds and flu, headaches, nausea, skin rashes, sinus congestion, respiratory problems, dizziness and eye, nose and throat irritations
- Uneven heating and cooling
- Stuffy rooms
- Bad odors
- Excessive dust
What’s the Solution for Leaky Ducts?
A diagnostic ductwork inspection and duct sealing should be performed. This process should always be done by a professional HVAC technician who is properly trained and has the equipment required to do the job right. Many HVAC contractors use a product called Aeroseal which is an excellent solution for ductwork holes. The process begins with a visual inspection to detect obvious leaks followed by measuring the exact degree of leakage by blocking off the registers and blowing tiny, self-sealing polymer particles into the ductwork. Because these particles cannot exit through the registers, they are drawn to cracks and leaks where they adhere to and effectively close any openings. A sensor and a computer are used to monitor the process.
Your technician will then retest the ducts using specialized equipment to ensure that all leaks have been sealed. Ductwork sometimes needs to be cleaned prior to sealing; however, that decision is made by a qualified technician on a case-by-case basis. The rubbery Aeroseal material sticks only to leaks, not to the rest of the ductwork, and it does not harden or become brittle over time. It emits no odor and typically lasts for at least 10 years.
What Benefits Can I Expect With Duct Sealing?
Ductwork holes are a common problem in Forney, TX, homes. Homeowners are typically unaware of how much money they’re losing every month when ducts have leaks. According to ENERGY STAR, consumers may lose up to 30 percent of their heated and cooled air through cracks. After leaks are sealed, the savings can be as high as $300 per year. Homeowners who opt for duct sealing experience greater indoor comfort since the sealing process reduces temperature variations throughout a home. The process also improves indoor air quality by keeping dirt, dust, debris, microbes, pests and allergens from entering the system through leaks.
To learn more about the benefits of duct sealing or to schedule a ductwork diagnostic inspection, visit Willard Heating And Air Conditioning or call us at (972) 395-5139 for additional information.