Your Central Air System is Only as Efficient as Your Air Duct System
Green Safety Duckwork – Environmentally Safe – Lower Utility Bills – Formaldehyde-free insulation ductwork is a safer alternative – Reduces potential mold growth and can lower utility bills by as much as 30%.
Green Safety Ductwork is not only environmentally friendly, it improves the air quality in your home and can save you on your utility bills. A home with properly designed and sealed ductwork can make your home more energy efficient and comfortable.
What are the benefits for Green Safety Ductwork?
- Eliminates hot and cold spots throughout your home
- Uses formaldehyde-free insulation to help reduce formaldehyde exposure for a safer and healthier home
- Reduces the potential for mold growth in your ductwork
- Can lower utility bills by as much as 30%
- Made with Environmentally friendly materials
Heating and air conditioning has now become an indispensable part of our home comfort and daily lifestyle. It’s a huge investment and choice many first time homeowners make and one that lasts for years and years to come. We depend on it during the coldest and hottest months and rely on our furnaces and air conditioners to provide comfort. But no matter how smart or green your central air system may be, a lot of energy may go wasted if your air duct system is in poor condition.
Example of an old duct system
Example of a new duct system
Taking indoor air and conditioning it (either cooling or heating) to be at the perfect temperature takes time, but more importantly, it takes energy. Energy consumption equals cost. If your air duct system or home ventilation is in poor shape, much of that treated air can escape before it even makes it into your house.
How Air Travels from Your Furnace to Your Room
New Furnace and Duct installed in garage – Service Champions Heating & Air Conditioning – Orange County. Every time you turn on your air conditioner or heater, it takes a while for treated air to make its way into your room. That’s because heated or cooled air must travel through the duct system as seen in the image on the right. This AC system was installed recently and it sits in the garage of this home. Above the furnace you see the beginning of the duct system as it makes its way into the attic for further distribution throughout the house.
Once your air has been conditioned (either cooled or heated) through the furnace of your central air system and enters the passageway of the air ducts. The air navigates its way through the network of ducts before delivering itself into the rooms of your home.
If your air ducts have holes and leaks and the build of the house contains pressure differences, conditioned air fails to reach its destination. The image on the left shows a poorly sealed duct. Air had been continually leaking from this duct costing the homeowner money each time he tried to heat and cool his home.
When was the last time you were up in your attic and inspected your ducts?
The result of escaped air is less air flow and loss of conditioned air. This is the reason why the quality and efficiency of ductwork is important in maintaining air quality and home comfort. When air escapes through bad ductwork, so does your money. The image on the right shows another example of common poor duct sealing we come across. Later in this page you will read of the health risks you are exposing your household to if you have leaky ducts.
Inefficient Air Ducts are Responsible for Up to 40 Percent Energy Loss
When ducts are full of holes and leaks or are improperly installed as seen in the picture to the left, treated air easily escapes through the duct system before it reaches you. There are many items to point out in the picture on the left.
This picture was taken on a service call we went out to. The vertical section is connected to the top of the furnace. This area is known as the plenum. When we install ducts, we only connect ducts to the sides of the plenum, NEVER on top of the plenum. The reason is, air will flow in the area of least resistance.
When you have an exit route on top of the plenum as shown in the picture, the majority of the air will flow up and not much of it will flow the side connections; therefore, the airflow distribution to the side ducts will be minimal and this will cause certain rooms not being heated or cooled as desired.
Also, wrapping ducts with duct tape is a thing of the past. These ducts are not insulated, so the heated or cooled air flowing through it will lose its desired temperature before reaching your room.
Ducts with holes
Oftentimes, the escaped air will fill in areas where you won’t need it; garages, attics and crawl spaces. Because areas like attics and crawl spaces are left unmaintained, airborne pathogens, vapors, gasses and particles attach themselves to the air.
If the pressure of these areas is right, it pushes contaminated air back into the air ducts through the same leaks to be distributed to your home. What you get from these leaks is dirty air that is no longer at the temperature you want which means efficiency has been wasted and the air quality of air you are breathing has been diminished.
The second way faulty ductwork results in energy loss is heat conduction. This process regards the relationship between the temperature of the air inside the ducts and the temperature of the air outside the ducts.
Air ducts are the method by which treated air is transported to inside of the house. Ducts themselves are not a heating or cooling mechanism. When treated air passes through the ductwork, it either cools or heats the ducts themselves.
If you have your central air system running for a while, the ducts absorb enough heat or cold from the air passing through them and in turn heat or cool the air on the outside of the ducts. Once again, energy is used on air unintended to be treated. Proper insulation of your duct work can reduce heat conduction significantly.
Do Not Use Duct-tape on Ducts
Duct tape cannot properly support the pressure of the air flowing through your ducts. When the air pressure is too great, say you are running your AC system at full power to cool your home on a hot summer day, if your air ducts are sealed with duct tape, your ducts will pop off as the example above. Now you are leaking air into your attic and not in the rooms you would like to experience cool home comfort.
Read more as to why you should never use duct tape on your ducts.
When you have leaks in your air duct system, besides losing money each time you run your air conditioning system, you are also allowing dust and allergens from your attic to invade your home through your duct system.
Why Duct Insulation is a Smart Decision for Your Home
Families may notice that during the lifespan of their central air system, the quality of conditioning falls. Most technicians suggest installing a new system altogether, one with a larger more powerful furnace. Few consider the efficiency of ductwork.
In the image left you see ducts poorly wrapped in insulation not made specifically for ducts. We saw these ducts on a service call we went out to. At Service Champions, we do not cut corners when it comes to professional quality installation. We also never leave trash behind. We make sure that all installations are clean and all trash is removed after each installation.
When ducts are filled with holes and leaks, not only do harmful gases enter, but heated or cooled air escapes unused. As more air escapes through these leaks, the amount of conditioned air that reaches your home is far less than what it started with. This is why you may feel as though the central air system is not working as well as it first did. On the contrary, your central air system may be conditioning the same amount of air as it did at first; only this time, most of it escapes through leaky ducts.
Apart from sealing your ducts to mend these leaks, another key step in preventing heat loss is insulating the ducts. It is important that if you choose to insulate your ducts, you find a HVAC contractor who will take the proper measures to do so.
The image above is from a recent duct installation we installed. Our ducts are insulated with proper insulation to help deliver the air comfort you request. In the image you may notice a few small boxes on the ducts. These are dampers which control the amount of air that should go to a room as desired. This is known as zoning your home.
Other Common Poor Duct Installations
Excessive use of duct tape. For example, using duct tape, though popular, would not be the ideal choice. Using duct tape and plastic to make repairs would only last as long as the material itself. A professional HVAC contractor should be familiar with using UL Listed, an adhesive paste. Its formula has a specific design just for duct repair.
The Best Place to Have Your Ducts
There are areas in your home that are not ventilated but are also a space that does not need to be heated or cooled. When ducts are installed in these places and heat escapes via heat conduction, the space heats dramatically. Since there is no ventilation, heat remains trapped in that space. What it does is provide a way to regain lost energy.
Thermal regain refers to the process when the escaped heat slows down further heat loss by raising the temperature of its surroundings. Essentially, the heat that was initially lost is able to be used to maintain the current level of heat, and in doing so, prevent further heat loss. This is why it’s best to have ducts installed in an area of your home that has the smallest amount of ventilation possible. It is another strategic method of preserving heat and efficiency.
Safety Hazards that Come with Leaky Ducts
Since your duct system works to transport air from one place to another, many other types of gasses can enter your ducts if leaks and holes are present. This is a perfect opportunity for harmful vapors and gasses to pollute your air and eventually makes its way into your home. Whether it’s carbon monoxide or radon poisoning, though it’s unlikely, the threat is there. If precautions are not taken to prevent accidents, the effects are detrimental. The best way to avoid these problems altogether is proper duct sealing. This is the only way that these gasses are prevented from entering at all.
Proper duct sealing varies on the size of the leak. However, quality materials should be used at all times in making long-lasting repairs. The image above is asbestos that we have seen in some of our service calls.
Do you know what materials were used in the construction of your home?
Evaluating Your Duct System
When your HVAC technician comes to repair your duct system for problems or upgrades, be sure that he takes the necessary steps to thoroughly analyze the integrity of the duct system.
First, he sketches out the duct system to see what is where. Next, he analyzes the soundness of the duct system. After locating weak points, all leaks are sealed. If there are imbalanced pressure zones, these are corrected to restore air flow efficiency.
If you are concerned with the efficiency of your duct system or want to take measures to conserve heat loss, call a Service Champions technician for an evaluation.
Are you losing money in your Attic?
According to the California Energy Commission, 30% of the air that flows through your air ducts is lost. That means that 30 cents of every dollar you send on your monthly AC bill is blown out of your ducts before you can enjoy it.
At the same time that you are losing air and money, leaky air ducts can bring harmful contaminants such as allergens, bacteria and asbestos into your home.
How do allergens find their way into your ducts?
When air leaks from your ducts in your attic, a vacuum is created. As a result of the vacuum created, the air in your attic now mixed with allergens and possibly asbestos finds its way through the holes in your ducts and into your home severely decreasing the indoor air quality of your home.
Cold or Hot Pockets in Your Home
With leaky air ducts you will experience some areas of your home to be too warm or too cold.
This is why we have created the Safety & Airflow Test
Low air flow creates unnecessary stress, more wear and tear on your cooling and heating system. Low air flow will reduce the life expectancy of your AC system.
We can restore your Air Quality
At Service Champions Heating & Air Conditioning, we want you to achieve Peace of Mind and protect the health of your family by breathing great air quality.
If you do not see the value in our test, you will receive a full refund.
Get started now by filling out the form on this page or calling us.