We recently posted about the first of two main types of leaks that can cause problems when it comes to your home’s comfort, energy efficiency and indoor air quality – general air leaks around the home. The other most common home performance issues when it comes to leaks are duct leaks in your HVAC system. As is the case with general air leaks, the best approach to solving duct leak issues is to consult a qualified and knowledgeable home contractor.
Holes, rips or tears in your home’s HVAC duct system can cause major problems for your home’s overall performance and efficiency. They can also cause major headaches for homeowners, as not resolving these issues can result in large monthly energy bills. Whether using heat during the winter or air conditioning during the summer, conditioned air can escape these ducts to places it’s not intended to be, resulting in lost energy.
Duct systems are set up with precision and heavy planning for a reason – to ensure your energy is providing hot or cool air to appropriate places in your home. In order to run most efficiently, this ductwork has to be sealed properly from the starting point through to all destinations in the home. Even a collection of small leaks can add up to a collective loss of a great deal of air and energy.
There are many tests, both visual and more advanced, that can be performed to see where or how badly your ductwork is leaking. In basic tests performed on ductwork within site and reach, leaks can often be felt by touch when the HVAC unit is on and running. In more severe or troublesome cases, such as leaks occurring in ductwork hidden behind walls or other hard to see and reach places, other tests are necessary to determine where and how bad leaks actually are. Again, a qualified professional should be brought in to address these types of issues for maximum results.
In order to fix duct leaks, a few different materials are used. For smaller leaks in ducts that are exposed, some smaller fixes using mastic or duct tape can be a simple solution. However, if you have duct leaks that are visible or able to be felt, chances are good that there may be some leaks in those hidden areas as well.