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Seal Your Ducts and Reap the Benefits

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Loose ducts can happen anytime during the lifetime of your forced-air HVAC system, and when they loosen or develop leaks, you’ll see energy bills climb and indoor air quality drop until you seal ducts tightly. If you use any vented gas appliances, those leaks can pull carbon monoxide (CO) into your home. How much energy loss and compromised air quality you experience depends on the size and location of the breaches.

Signs of Leaky Air Ducts

If you notice that one part of your home isn’t as comfortable as it has been in the past, your HVAC system seems to run constantly, or if your energy bills have risen for no apparent reason, you may need to seal ducts in your home. When ducts are leaking, especially in unconditioned areas such as crawl spaces or the attic, it means you’re paying to condition air that never arrives at its destination in your home. In some homes, 30 percent of the air that’s cooled or heated is wasted. This forces your HVAC equipment to work overtime to compensate, leading to wasted energy and premature failure of parts.

Finding and Fixing Ductwork Leaks

The first step to take to stop duct leakage is to identify the places where the problems lie. For ducts that are easily accessible, you can look for problems that may be visible to the eye, such as holes or cracks, or collapsed or disconnected sections.

If your ducts aren’t easy to access, an HVAC contractor can pinpoint where duct leakage is occurring using specialized equipment. The leakage may be around the supply or return registers, or at the plenum that joins the ducts to the air handler. Contractors use mastic, a type of paste, or metal tape to seal ducts. Both of these products are available in home improvement centers. Duct tape isn’t a long-term solution for leaking ducts, since the adhesive doesn’t hold up under frequent temperature changes.

Contact the pros at HVAC Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning, who can evaluate and seal ducts in your home to lower energy costs and improve air quality. We provide exceptional HVAC services for Loudoun and Fairfax area homeowners.

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