A damaged or leaky air duct could be costing you hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling bills every month. The average household loses close to 30% of the air moving through its ducts due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected systems. So, If you’re noticing a recent uptick in your monthly energy costs, a leak in your air ducts could be the problem. Luckily, some leaks can be fixed with some HVAC system know-how and a roll of duct tape. If you suspect your leak is in the former scenario and you’re looking to avoid a potentially costly repair call, Star Heating & Cooling has compiled a few tips to fix this problem on your own.
Why You Should Fix a Leaky Duct As Soon As Possible
Most homes have forced air systems that push heated or air-conditioned air through a system of ducts that distribute the air throughout your home. With normal wear and tear leaks are bound to develop, which can cause a number of problems including:
Air leaks from your ducts will spill out into the spaces between the joists under your floors or the wall studs instead of the living space of your home. This will cause your HVAC system to consume more energy to reach your desired temperature.
More Strain on your Heating and Cooling System
Since your system will be working harder and more often to keep the temperature that your thermostat is set to, duct leaks could shorten the life of your HVAC system. More wear and tear normally means more breakdowns and more need for air conditioning repairs and furnace repairs.
Indoor Air Quality Issues
Leaks in air ducts can also allow outside air into your home from the unconditioned areas where ducts are installed. This can lead to an indoor air quality problem if there are pollutants, humidity, or allergens in the air found in these areas.
Locating And Fixing The Leak
Before you can fix the leak, you have to locate it. If you can get into your attic or crawl space, you can conduct a visual test yourself. Here’s how to do that:
- Do a quick visual inspection for any obvious gaps, holes, or cracks.
- Anything that’s big should be marked and revisited by a professional.
- Turn on your HVAC system and allow it to run for a few minutes.
- Feel around the air vents for any sudden changes in temperature.
- Light an incense stick and hold it near the ducts. If the smoke changes direction near the duct, it means there’s a leak.
- If the leak seems small, you can patch it up yourself with duct tape or mastic sealant.
- Run the incense test again to make sure that your patchwork fixed the leak
When You Should Call for Professional Air Duct Repair
Unfortunately, we can only recommend that you DIY the duct leak if you can access it yourself through the attic or the crawl space, and it’s small enough to cover with duct tape or mastic sealant. If the duct leak is in your walls, and the damage to your duct is extensive, an air duct professional can be called in to do the heavy lifting.
HVAC professionals will be able to run a pressure test on your duct system and use a special instrument to detect any leaks. Once they’ve located the leaks, they can use a variety of methods and products to fix the leaks and hopefully extend the life of your ductwork.
Call Star Heating & Cooling to Fix Your Leaky Ducts
If it seems like your HVAC system is working overtime, and your home is still not the temperature you want it to be, you could have damaged air ducts. Small leaks can surely be patched up with duct tape, but if you can’t reach the broken ducts or the damage is extensive, turn to the professionals at Star Heating & Cooling. We can help you extend the life of your ducts and your HVAC system, and allow your family to enjoy all of the heated or cooled air that your system provides. Contact us today!