Fix Leaky Ducts to Improve Your Heating and Cooling System

fix leaky ducts

It’s been a long and weary winter for most of the country, including here in Georgia. But it might be about the time of year that we can finally start lowering our dependence on our furnaces, which makes it a good time to maintenance our HVAC systems.

One area of our forced heating and air systems that deserves some attention is the duct system. Air ducts move conditioned air into the rooms of a building and then return the air back to your heat pump, furnace, or central air unit.  They play a vital role in heating and cooling, and damage to ducts can cause a variety of problems. In fact, even just small leaks in your duct system can mean that up to 20% of the air your system heats or cools is lost before reaching the register!

Checking your duct system for leaks or, better yet, having an HVAC contractor check them for you, is a good idea if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Stuffy rooms
  • High energy bills
  • Never feeling comfortable regardless of where the thermostat is set

If you experience any of these problems, consider having your ductwork inspected and sealed. Having ductwork sealed is a one-time repair that you shouldn’t have to repeat, but that can add up to major benefits:

  • Improves air quality: When your ducts are leaky, they can pull air from the area around them (probably your basement, crawlspace, or attic) into the system, making your air dirty and increasing allergy and asthma problems.
  • Makes Your system safer: When ducts are leaky, they can backdraft gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, from other systems into your home’s air.
  • Lowers energy bills: Once properly, you should see a drop in your home’s energy bills since the system will not be loosing so much conditioned air to unconditioned spaces, like your unfinished attic.
  • Raises comfort level: You should also notice an improvement in the comfort of the rooms in your home since conditioned air is making it to the space it’s meant for.
  • Maximizes system efficiency: When your ducts are properly sealed, your heating and cooling system doesn’t have to work so hard to keep your house comfortable. You should definitely consider having your duct work sealed before purchasing any new heating or cooling equipment so that you can maximize the equipment’s efficiency and longevity.

As you can see, the payoffs are so big that you might feel like you’ve gotten a new heating and cooling system when the work is done.

Checking for and repairing leaky ducts is a multistep process. There are several places that you or your HVAC contractor will examine for leaks, tears, and blockages:

  • At the furnace. Leaks here can be most costly to savings because the air is the most pressurized.
  • On the ducts themselves, particularly where one section of ductwork meets another.
  • Where the ductwork meets the registers and returns.

When your contractor finds a leak, he or she will use a flexible adhesive called mastic that looks similar to white paste; metallic tape; or an aerosol adhesive to seal the ducts. Ironically, they will not use duct tape, which disintegrates quickly on ductwork.

Your contractor will also look at flexible ductwork to ensure that there aren’t kinks that could be restricting air flow, making the system work harder.

At Gagne Heating and A/C, we aim to help you maximize your heating and cooling systems. If you think you might have leaky ductwork, contact our metro-Atlanta HVAC technicians (metro-atlanta-hvac-contractors.html) today. And, visit our Knowledge Center anytime to learn more ways about maintaining your heating and cooling systems.