How To Tell If Your Air Ducts Are Leaking?
Do you know if your air ducts are leaking? Many homes have a system of forced air heating and cooling that keeps the house comfortable in all weather conditions. Air ducts that are torn or broken will not work efficiently. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of heat or cooled air can be lost to leaking ducts according to Energy Star. In addition, pollen and other harmful pathogens can find their way into the leaking ducts and spread through your home. Insects and rodents can also find their way into the torn ductwork.
[bctt tweet=”An estimated 20 to 30 percent of heat or cooled air can be lost to leaking ducts” username=”SanAirClean”]
Your first indication of a problem with your HVAC system is an increase in your energy bill. Higher energy costs will result when your heating or cooling system has to work harder to maintain the temperature settings on your thermostat. The problem may be related to air loss due to air duct leaks.
An HVAC professional will test for leaks using a detector that measures the airtightness of the ducts. This is a calibrated unit with a pressure testing sensor device that measures air flow and the fan flow rate. You get an accurate readout of your air loss.
Joint work – Most Common Cause of Air Ducts Leaking
You can also check the ducts yourself, depending on where they are located in your home. Your attic may be the best place to look for an air leak. If your ducts are in the basement, look for leaks in that area.
If you can access the ducts, check the joint work first.
- Turn on your heater or air conditioner so that the air is blowing.
- Close off vents temporarily.
- Hold your hand near the joint areas and see if air is coming out.
- You can light an incense stick or a smoke pencil if necessary near the joint work to test for an air leak.
This is a preliminary test. You may have to remove insulation if your ducts are wrapped in insulating material. Dust from the insulation piled in one area may indicate that the section of that duct is blowing out air from a leak.
Carefully run your hand along the outside of the ducts to feel for tears or breaks in the surface. You do not want to injure your hand on loose metal. You can also visually inspect the ducts.
Repairs if Air Ducts Are Leaking – Should I even bother?
You can repair the ducts (if your Air Ducts Are Leaking) yourself if you find a tear or you can have an HVAC professional do the job. The goal is to seal all leaks to prevent further air loss. Older systems may need to be replaced.
Your ducts may need a complete cleaning along with repairs to keep them in good condition. A buildup of debris in the ducts can also interfere with airflow and also provide a breeding ground for pathogens.
[bctt tweet=”A buildup of debris in the ducts can also interfere with airflow and also provide a breeding ground for pathogens.” username=”SanAirClean”]
Check air ducts occasionally when you change filters on your HVAC system. Contact a professional HVAC technician for maintenance and repairs to save energy and keep your system working efficiently and keep your Air Ducts Are Leaking
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