Tight Ducts Keep Heat in Your Home Where it Belongs

Tight Ducts Keep Heat in Your Home Where it BelongsTight ducts have an enormous effect on household energy efficiency and comfort. The amount of conditioned air escaping out of leaky residential ductwork into unconditioned zones like the attic, crawl space or wall cavities is alarming. U.S. Department of Energy average leakage estimates start at around 25 percent and go up from there. This lost heat and cooling contributes nothing to the quality of your indoor environment — but adds a great deal to your monthly energy expenses.

What are the Signs?

Tight ducts installed in new home construction don’t stay tight for very long. Over the years, leakage develops at failing joints, due to rust and corrosion and as a result of collapsed or disconnected duct segments. Symptoms of duct leakage include:

  • Steadily increasing heating/cooling costs with a commensurate loss of indoor comfort.
  • Inconsistent airflow into living spaces.
  • Deteriorating indoor air quality — duct leaks that allow heating and cooling to escape also pull contaminated or excessively humid air into the system.

What is the Solution?

Most ductwork isn’t readily accessible to the average homeowner. However, a qualified HVAC contractor has the specialized equipment and expertise to fully inspect and test ducts for leakage. After a complete visual inspection, the ductwork is lightly pressurized as sensors linked to a computer calculate the percentage of leakage relative to the total volume of airflow. Building codes in many states now set maximum limits for conditioned air loss through duct leakage. When leakage exceeds recommended limits, your contractor can discuss effective duct sealing procedures to bring the leakage down to acceptable levels and restore proper airflow. A typical sealing procedure includes:

  • Re-sealing all joints in the ductwork with mastic and foil tape and permanently securing with screws.
  • Removing any severely corroded or collapsed segments and replacing with newly fabricated ductwork.
  • Injecting aerosol sealant to coat the interior of ducts and seal pinhole leakage.
  • Replacing deteriorated duct insulation.

For more information on the link between tight ducts and optimum energy efficiency and comfort, contact the professionals at Paitson Bros. We’ve served the homeowners of the Wabash Valley since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductwork and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Csehak-Szabolcs/Shutterstock”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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