Many consumers install high-efficiency HVAC equipment in their homes with high expectations. They want increased comfort, better indoor air quality, and most importantly, reduced energy bills. However, too often, homeowners are disappointed with the results, especially the high bills. Leaking ductwork might be contributing to your high energy bills below. Learn more below.
My HVAC system is supposed to be efficient. Why are my bills so high?
There is more that contributes to the efficiency of an HVAC system than just the equipment. We’re talking about ductwork. Installed in attics, crawlspaces and inside wall cavities, ductwork is used to carry conditioned air to the various rooms of your home. When the ductwork is not sealed, air leakage often leads to a loss of efficiency, reduced comfort, and higher utility bills.
How bad do ductwork systems leak?
According to Energy Star, HVAC systems lose 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system due to leaks, holes or poorly constructed ducts. Leaks lead to reduced airflow, which causes temperature inconsistencies throughout the home. One room might be comfortable while the back of the house is not. Leaking ductwork also pulls in dust, fumes and other contaminants that affect indoor air quality.
How do I fix leaking ductwork?
The first step is to make sure that your ductwork is leaking, and it’s not a different problem. Other concerns include:
- Undersized ducts;
- Collapsed ducts;
- And disconnected seams.
A professional HVAC contractor can help identify the issue and provide guidance on how best to repair.
What is the best method for sealing the leaks?
There are several ways to seal ductwork including mastic sealants, tape, and aerosols.
- Brush mastic, a sealant compound, on the leaking area. Once it dries, it will seal the leak.
- Apply tape to leaking ductwork. Metal tapes last longer than the typical fabric backed duct tape.
- Use aerosols in cases where the leak is not easily accessible.
The three types mentioned above are all good options and will do an excellent job sealing the ductwork.
After fixing the ductwork, homeowners can expect to have better airflow, increased comfort, and reduced utility bills. The extent of changes will depend on the original condition of the ductwork system.