Duct Maintenance And HVAC Efficiency

Posted on: 12 February 2015

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The fluctuating price you pay to heat and cool your home can make it hard to make your budget work. When it gets really hot in the summer or really cold in the winter, your heating costs can eat up your budget. If you do your best to maintain the efficiency of your heating and cooling units, you will need to maintain your machines properly, but no matter how well you maintain your machines, you cannot forget to maintain your ducts. Leaky ducts can decrease your system efficiency by up to 40%, so proper duct maintenance is critical. 

The Problem with Leaky Ducts

As your furnace and air conditioner force air through your ducts, the air flowing through your ducts exerts outward pressure, and this pressure can cause your joints and seams to start leaking.  As air leaks out through these holes, the volume of air that reaches your home to heat and cool it decreases, and with decreased volume, your system will take longer to heat and cool your home. Thus, if you see a hike in your heating bills without a corresponding hike in the cost of fuel, you might want to inspect your ducts for leaks. 

Diagnosing Leaky Ducts

To find out if you have leaks in your ducts, you have a couple of options: 1) You can call in someone to use scopes to inspect your ducts for you. 2) If you can access your ducts, you can inspect your ducts yourself with the following steps:

1. Grab a stick of incense and a marker.

2. Turn your thermostat to the fan position so that it pushes air through your ducts.

3. Climb up into your attic, down into your crawlspace, or wherever else you have to go to find your ducts. 

4. Light the incense and run it along the joints and seams. Anywhere you see a disturbance in the smoke coming off the incense, you have a leak. 

5. Mark the leaks with the marker so that you can come back later and fix them. 

Fixing your Leaks

In order to fix leaks in your ductwork, all you need is a putty knife and a can of mastic. All you have to do is paint a thick layer of mastic over the leak and allow it to dry. 

Fixing leaky ducts is not a difficult process as long as you can access your ducts. As long as you have reasonable mobility and skill with tools, you should be able fix your repairs on your own. (If you find yourself in trouble or lost with your duct system, contact A Avis Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning or another company)