No matter how energy efficient your home may be, every home is faced with some amount of energy loss. In most homes, the biggest culprit is your ductwork, the system responsible for moving heated and cooled air throughout your home.
Most duct systems consist of both supply and return ducts. Your heating and cooling equipment uses a fan to force heated and cooled air through the supply ducts. The return ducts, which are ideally located in every room, supply the air to this fan. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, statistics show that 25% to 40% of heating and cooling energy produced by your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner is lost through your ductwork. Typically, duct systems lose energy in two ways: through conduction and through air leaks.
Conduction is simply the transfer of heat from one location to another through a substance. When it comes to heating or air conditioning your home, your duct system can lose energy when the temperature inside the ducts is vastly different from the air outside the ducts. So when heating your home, for example, if your ductwork passes through unheated areas like your garage, attic, basement, or crawlspace and the temperatures in this area are much colder than the heated air passing through the ducts, a great deal of heat is likely to be lost. Because most ductwork is made from thin sheet metal, the best way to avoid energy loss through conduction is to thoroughly insulate your ductwork.
Leaks in your ductwork can happen for a variety of reasons and are often found in the form of cracks or holes caused by poor seals and/or damage caused to the ductwork. When leaks are present, they are preventing your heating and air conditioning system from performing adequately and keeping you comfortable. As heated or cooled air passes through your duct system, air escapes through even the tiniest crack or hole, effectively reducing your airflow. To keep this from happening, it’s best to have your ductwork regularly inspected and sealed.
Reducing energy loss is the best way to get the most from your heating and cooling system. Even the most efficient systems aren’t doing much for your comfort or energy bill if more than a third of the effort the system yields is going to waste.
Whether it’s simple repairs or a replacement of your existing air duct system, at Service Champions, we are experts at helping you save money and maximize comfort.