Duct Sealing Basics

Many people believe creating better heating and air conditioning efficiency for their homes means upgrading to a higher efficiency HVAC system. Depending on the age of your equipment, that option could very well be a winner. But it isn’t the only way to increase efficiency and generate utility bill savings. Your home’s HVAC system works in concert with your duct system, and the simple process of duct sealing could hold the key to major improvement.

The ductwork within your home is actually a network of sections joined together. Any joint in that network has the potential for air leakage and loss of system efficiency, but duct sealing is a simple and very effective solution.

First, survey your duct system:

  • The main trunk is usually rigid, but the large main section transitions to smaller ducting that travels to each room. Very often, these ducts are flexible, and each transition point represents a joint.
  • The ductwork traveling to the rooms terminates at a vent. This termination is a joint.
  • You’ll find one or more return ducts that cycle air back into the HVAC unit. Its beginning and end points are joints.

Look closely at each joint in the duct system. You’ll find either mastic or tape there, and that’s where leaks usually occur. Air could be spilling into your basement, into your attic and even into spaces between floors. Turn your system fan on and feel around each joint for leaks. If you aren’t sure the joint is leaking, fill a spray bottle with sudsy water and apply a little to the joint. A leaking joint will cause bubbles.

Sealing ducts could take a little time because there are many joints in your system. To seal tight, you need to apply new mastic or a metal duct tape. To learn more about duct sealing, download the Energy Star brochure on duct sealing. And to get expert advice and help with your system, contact Home Comfort Experts. We’ll help you get it right!

Home Comfort services the Mishawaka/South Bend areas of Indiana.

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