Leaky air ducts are one of the leading causes of energy loss and can significantly impact your monthly energy expenses. Air duct leaks interrupt even and consistent air travel, making it harder for warm or cooled air to reach certain spaces. Your duct network is responsible for directing warm or conditioned air from room to room. However, when ducts have leaks, it can cause anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of air to leak into unwanted spaces, such as the attic or basement.
Even temperature distribution in your most used spaces is critical to keeping all areas of your home comfortable and your energy bills low. If you notice signs of a duct leakage, it’s time to call an expert. Having an HVAC specialist seal and insulate your ducts can help you lower the cost of your heating and cooling bills as well as keep your family more comfortable in every season.
Signs That Your Air Ducts Are Leaking
Your ductwork is a network that controls how effectively your HVAC unit transmits clean air to different parts of the home. When air flow is disrupted via air leaks through gaps, cracks or seams, you may start to notice signs. Knowing the signs can help you address the problem sooner so that you can get back to greater indoor comfort in your home.
Some indications of leaky air ducts include:
- Higher energy bills – When your ducts are improperly sealed, it causes your furnace or AC to work harder and draw more energy as it struggles to compensate for air loss. Higher energy bills are a symptom of a straining HVAC system that is using more power than necessary.
- Excessive dust accumulation – Consider how often you need to dust or how much dust builds up in your home. Do you feel like after only a short period of time, the dust has already returned? It’s easy for vents to collect dust in spaces where dust is likely to settle, such as the enclosed, unused spaces that ducts are often installed in.
- Inconsistent heating and cooling – Even a small gap or hole can result in up to 30% of air loss in your ventilation system. When air flow is interrupted, it makes it difficult for heated or cooled air to reach specific areas. A properly working ventilation system will ensure that all rooms are equally warmed and cooled as per the season.
- Lifespan – Age is the most common reason why ductwork fails. Like any piece of equipment or hardware, with aging comes deterioration and as ductwork wears down, it becomes more prone to leakage. On average, most homeowners notice that problems with their ventilation system arise around the 15 to 20 year mark.
Locating the Source of a Leaky Duct
Chances are, if you live in an older home, your ducts are as old as the home and probably haven’t seen much TLC as a result. It’s easy to forget about air ducts as a core component of a functioning home as they are hidden for the most part. Air ducts can be located anywhere in the framing of the home and are generally out of sight.
Since ducts are generally located in awkward spaces such as the attic, ceilings, floors or walls, pinpointing the source of the leak can be difficult. However, taking a closer look at duct joints, checking for makeshift duct tape seals, or running your HVAC unit on a high setting may help you find the source of the leak. It is best to schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional who can provide you with an expert diagnosis and repair.
From ductwork repairs to duct sealing or duct insulation, Comfort Solutions HVAC is ready to find you a permanent solution to your leaky air ducts. Contact us today for a free estimate or to schedule a duct maintenance appointment.