Ductwork that is leaky and not insulated can make your home uncomfortable and cost you with high energy bills.
Proper Sealing. All ducts will eventually have some air leaks as they age. The proper way to seal air ducts is with duct mastic, which is seen in the left photo above. It is important to maintain your ductwork and its environment for maximum energy savings and comfort.
Duct mastic is the preferred material for sealing ductwork seams and joints. It is more durable than any available tape and generally easier for a do-it-yourself installation. Its only drawback is that it will not bridge gaps over ¼ inch. Such gaps must be first bridged with web-type drywall tape or a good quality heat approved tape.
Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks is even more important if the ducts are located in an unconditioned area such as an attic or vented crawlspace. If the supply ducts are leaking, heated or cooled air can be forced out of unsealed joints and lost. In addition, unconditioned air can be drawn into return ducts through unsealed joints.
The photo to the right above shows ductwork that has not been maintained and is wasting energy because it is blowing conditioned air to an unconditioned space which in turn is providing less conditioned air to living spaces.
How Important are Air Ducts?
Your air ducts are one of the most important systems in your home, and if the ducts are poorly sealed or insulated they are likely contributing to higher energy bills.
Your home’s duct system is a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings; it carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Ducts are made of sheet metal, fiberglass, or other materials.
Ducts that leak heated air into unheated spaces can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts in unconditioned spaces is usually very cost-effective. If you are installing a new duct system, make sure it comes with insulation.
Green Eco Solutions will Inspect, Detect and Correct your ductwork problems. Ductwork can cause health, energy and comfort problems. Here are some areas that will be inspected during a free energy audit.
- Look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
- Inspect both the ducts and the basement walls for proper insulation. Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are not insulated, consider insulating both.
- Inspect water pipes and drains because they could freeze and burst if in an unconditioned spaces especially if the heat ducts are fully insulated because there would be no heat source to prevent the space from freezing in cold weather. However, using an electric heating tape wrap on the pipes can prevent this. Check with a professional contractor.
- Inspect both supply and return registers in the basement rooms if your basement was converted your to a living area.
- Check for a well-sealed vapor barrier that must exist on the outside of the insulation and on cooling ducts to prevent moisture and condensation.
- If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or other appliance or an attached garage, a recommendation would be to install a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor to alert you of harmful CO levels.
Be sure to get professional help when doing ductwork. A qualified professional should always perform changes and repairs to a duct system.
If you have ducts located in an unconditioned attic, such as shown here, you are losing hundreds of dollars annually due to heat loss from ducts in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
Defects in a duct system can cause the following problems:
- Waste hundreds of dollars a year by forcing your HVAC system to run longer than necessary.
- Make certain rooms too hot or too cold at different times of the year, while introducing dirt and bad odors into your forced-air system.
Energy Envelope….the goal is to address it completely.
Green Eco Solutions during its energy audit will not only inspect your duct work but will do a thorough audit from your basement to your attic and the exterior of your home to determine where the main energy loss issues are and then provide recommendations and pricing on how to correct these issues. All of this is done at no charge and the audit booklet that was completed will be left with you for your future planning. Correcting duct work is a good place to start on your way to addressing your home’s energy envelope!
Ductwork services and solutions from Green Eco Solutions
- Free ductwork inspection and free estimates for all recommended duct repairs.
- Expert testing of ductwork system.
- Duct sealing to eliminate leaky ducts.
- Duct insulation to improve HVAC system efficiency.
- Ductwork system balancing to equalize supply and return air.