Duct Leakage: Signs and How to Stop It
Your home’s air duct system is responsible for dispersing heated and cooled air throughout your house, and then is cycled back into your system so that it can be treated, then heated or cooled again. If you have a leak in your duct return system, or if it was poorly installed you can run the risk of having to deal with significant financial and equipment performance problems, including duct leakage.
Leaks in forced air duct systems are seen as a major source of energy waste in both new and existing houses. Studies indicate that duct leakage can account for as much as 25% of total energy loss and can even cause your utility bills to be 20% higher than they should be. We have found that duct leakage is responsible for many of the comfort issues experienced by homeowners today.
What Types of Problems Can Duct Leakage Cause?
- Unwanted outside air can be pulled into the duct system reducing efficiency and range. Hot summer air and the cold the winter chill can find its way into your home through these leaks, as well as causing uncomfortable humidity. Moist, humid air can overrun the dehumidification element of your air conditioning system, causing your house to feel damp and sticky even when the air conditioner is running. ?
- Heat pumps are exposed to problems from duct leakage, most commonly during the colder seasons. These leaks can cause the air coming from your heat pump to feel luke-warm or even cool during the winter. ?
- Leaks can cause conditioned air to be wasted and redirected into your attic, crawlspaces or garage instead of into your home, and can also draw air into the house from these same areas bringing in dust, mold spores, insulation fibers and other impurities. ?
- Depressurization from leaks and imbalanced systems can cause spillage of hazardous combustible products from furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces into the house, exposing your family to unsafe elements.?
- Moisture can enter through leaks or by an improperly installed system. Research suggests that condensation (which occurs when a surface temperature is lower than the dew point temperature of the surrounding air) on or near cooling coils of air conditioning units is a major factor in moisture contamination of the system. The presence of condensation or high relative humidity is an important indicator of the potential for mold growth on any type of duct.
How Can You Stop Duct Leakage?
- Schedule regular maintenance check ups with a certified technician to make sure your ductwork is properly vented and sealed and is in excellent working order. We also perform duct replacement if we find that your system may need additional help. Maintained and properly installed ductwork allows your heating and cooling system to run more efficiently and produce consistent temperatures while providing better overall comfort to your household.