Improving your duct system can:
- Improve Comfort – Sealing and insulating ducts can help with comfort problems than many of us have experienced, such as rooms that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
- Enhance Indoor Air Quality – Fumes from common household or garden chemicals, insulation particles, and dust can enter your duct system, exacerbating asthma and allergy problems. Sealing your ducts can help improve your indoor air quality by reducing pollutants entering ducts and circulating throughout your home.
- Promote Safety – During normal operation, gas appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers release combustion gases (like carbon monoxide) through their venting systems. Leaky ductwork in your heating and cooling system may cause “backdrafting,” where these gases are drawn back into the living space, rather than expelled to the outdoors. Sealing leaks can reduce this risk.
- Save Money – Leaky ducts can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent. Sealing and insulating your ducts increases efficiency, lowers your energy bills, and can often pay for itself in energy savings. Plus, if you have plans to install new heating and cooling equipment, a well-designed and sealed duct system may allow you to downsize to a smaller, less costly heating and cooling system that will provide better dehumidification.
- Protect the Environment – Most power plants in the Tampa Bay Area burn fossil fuels to make electricity, releasing greenhouse gases. By sealing ductwork and using less energy at home, you can help reduce these emissions and fight global warming.
How Do I Know if My Duct System is Bad?
Ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout your house, but in typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and unsealed joints, resulting in higher utility bills and difficulty in keeping the house comfortable, regardless of the thermostat setting.
Some of the signs that your home may have leaky, poorly insulated, or inefficient ducts are:
- you have high summer and winter utility bills
- you have rooms that are difficult to heat and cool
- you have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable
- your ducts are located in an attic, unfinished basement, crawlspace, or the garage
- you find tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system.
How Do I Improve the Performance of My Duct System?
Since ducts are usually concealed in walls, ceiling, and attics, repairing them can be difficult. Still, there are things that you can do to improve duct performance in your house. First you can start by sealing air leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape and insulating all the ducts that you can access. Don’t use duct tape, it is not long-lasting. Also, make sure that the connections at vents and registers are well-sealed where they meet the walls and ceiling. These are typical locations to find leaks and detached ductwork
Your home’s ductwork is one of the most important components of your HVAC system. Because of how important your ducts are, hiring a licensed contractor is the best way to ensure that they work well and consistently. You want a contractor that will, at the very least:
- Inspect your whole duct system, including the attic, crawlspace and garage.
- Evaluate your system’s supply and return air balance. Many systems have air return ducts that are too small.
- Repair damaged and disconnected ducts and straighten out flexible ducts that are tangled or crushed.
- Seal all leaks and connections with mastic, metal tape, or an aerosol-based sealant.
- Seal all registers and grills tightly to the ducts.
- Insulate ducts in unconditioned areas with duct insulation that carries an R-value of 6 or higher.
- Include a new filter as part of any duct system improvement.
- Evaluate air flow after repairs are completed.
Not only will the experts at The Comfort Authority do all of this, when you choose The Comfort Authority you can always rest assured knowing you have chosen the ONLY contractor in the Tampa Bay Area that values your comfort, safety, and peace of mind as highly as you do. Give us a call today at (813) 501-2240 to get the comfort, safety, and peace of mind you deserve.
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