When a heating or air conditioning system develops a problem, you usually notice it right away.
Weird sounds start coming from the unit, efficiency decreases, something starts smoking or icing over, etc. etc. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with ducts. Duct issues are silent, subtle, and often go completely unnoticed by the homeowner. That doesn’t make them trivial, however. Let’s take a look at one of the biggest problems that ducts are afflicted with, and how duct sealing can solve it.
Ductwork is really susceptible to leaks, and the sad fact of the matter is there isn’t much to be done to prevent them. Most ducts are installed poorly, leaving gaps between the sections. Even properly installed ducts can work themselves loose through normal operation, expanding and contracting over time. In humid environments, there’s the added problem of moisture causing corrosion and opening holes in the ducts. To make matters worse, even small duct leaks can really add up.
The US Department of Energy has estimated that the average home heating system loses as much as 30% of its output to leaks in the ductwork. Nearly a third of your heating or air conditioning output could be wasted before it gets to its destination, and you very likely wouldn’t even realize that it’s happening.
In an effort to address the massive issue that duct leaks present, duct sealing has become a common service. Basically, duct sealing consists of finding and closing any leaks that are present to improve energy efficiency. The HVAC technician conducting the service uses a number of specialized tools to address any possible kind of duct leak. While some homeowners may attempt to seal their own ducts, they often lack the materials and expertise to do the job properly. Duct sealing can also improve your air quality by preventing moisture from entering your ducts and causing mold growth. You should have your ducts sealed at least once every two years, in order to prevent wasted energy.