If you have a typical Texas home with a forced-air system, as much as 20 percent of the conditioned air being pumped out by your HVAC equipment is lost before it reaches your cooling registers due to leaks and gaps in the ducts. Duct sealing and insulation can lower these losses significantly, and it’s especially advantageous if you have ducting that’s installed in unconditioned areas such as a crawlspace or attic. Sealing up leaks and insulating your ducts provides some other big benefits:
- You’ll be more comfortable. When your ducts are losing conditioned air, it’s more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. Some areas will stay too hot, and others will be too chilly.
- You’ll breathe healthier air. Leaky ducts that travel through a crawlspace or attic can pull dust, insulation and allergens into the air that’s circulating through your home. Fume backdrafts from combustion appliances can pose a serious health risk if carbon monoxide (CO) is introduced through leaks in your ductwork.
An HVAC professional who’s experienced in sealing and insulating ducts can provide expert advice and help you solve a leaky duct problem. If you’d like to take steps to address leaks in areas where your ducts are accessible, you can take the following steps:
- Check the areas where ducts connect to see if any are loose, and then reconnect them.
- Identify spots that need sealing by holding up a smoke pencil to the visible joints while your HVAC fan is running.
- When you find leaks, don’t seal them with duct tape. Use mastic sealant or foil-backed tape instead, because it lasts longer.
- If you have a gap wider than 1/4 inch, you can seal it effectively by covering it with fiberglass mesh before you apply the mastic.
- Check for leaks around your ceiling and floor air registers. You can fix them using either foam or mastic sealant.
- Insulate sealed ducts in unconditioned areas such as the crawlspace or attic with an R-6 insulation wrap.
To learn more about the potential energy savings and other benefits of duct sealing and insulation, contact us today at Bruce Thornton A/C.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com