Your home’s ductwork system bears the task of providing a clear channel for conditioned airflow from the A/C and furnace to the living spaces. In the average home, however, aging or poorly designed ductwork loses up to 30 percent of conditioned air. Include a ductwork inspection with your HVAC tune-up this year and ensure your energy dollars are well spent.
Proper ductwork sealing is important for maximizing comfort and indoor air quality. If ducts are leaky, you are paying to cool and heat the attic, crawl space and other spaces where ducts may be located. Moreover, air leakage works both ways. Dusty and contaminated air can be drawn into the ducts and circulated through the home. Following are signs of leaky or otherwise problematic air ducts:
- Clamoring and rattling noises are sure signs of loose, leaky or disconnected ducts.
- Hot and cold spots in the home could be caused by duct leaks, restrictions and/or poor airflow.
- Dirt streaks on insulated ducts indicate an air leak.
- If your ducts are not insulated, they are wasting energy, too.
Your HVAC professional visually inspects the ducts, diffusers and grilles. He or she is looking for loose connections, fallen ducts, damaged ducts and quality of insulation. Then, a blower door test is performed, which pressurizes the ducts and pinpoints tiny air leaks that may be missed during the visual check.
You can check for loose and fallen ducts, too, if the ductwork is accessible. Loose ducts should be sealed with mastic sealant and metal tape. Also, if your ductwork is not insulated, perform this check:
- Turn on the A/C or furnace to your normal comfort temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- While the cooling/heating is running, start at the most distant accessible duct to test the temperature.
- Now, touch the duct closest to the cooling/heating system (not too close if the furnace is on).
- The difference in temperature gives you an idea of the heat gain/loss in your ductwork – wasted energy – due to a lack of quality insulation.
If you would like to schedule a ductwork inspection for your Fresno area home, please contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork inspections and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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