If you’re feeling defeated by high heating bills this winter, it may be time to re-evaluate the energy-efficiency of your home’s heating system. Whether you have a gas or electric furnace, there are a number of issues that can waste energy and cost you money. And of course, a furnace with poor energy-efficiency has to work harder to keep your home comfortable—which results in premature wear and tear.
There are many potential sources of skyrocketing energy bills during the winter months, but one you won’t want to overlook is that of leaky air ducts. By understanding what causes air duct leaks and what you can do about them, you can optimize the efficiency of your home’s heating system and possibly cut down on those energy bills as a result.
Are Duct Leaks Costing You Money?
Your home’s furnace is connected to a series of ductwork that runs throughout your home. Because ductwork tends to be hidden in ceilings and behind drywall, you probably don’t think much about it. Over time, however, individual sections of ductwork can loosen (especially as your house naturally settles). This creates gaps that allow air to escape.
Why is this a problem? Because after your furnace works to generate warm air, that air can be lost through leaks in your ductwork. As a result, your furnace needs to work even harder to create more heat. As you can imagine, this is detrimental to your home’s energy efficiency and may lead to higher energy bills.
Ideally, sections of ductwork in your home should be completely airtight. Unfortunately, even small leaks in your home’s ductwork can lead to a loss of up to 40% of efficiency. Meanwhile, these small leaks in your home’s ductwork can also invite dust and other debris to make their way into your ducts and vents. This can result in poor indoor air quality in addition to higher energy bills. What a drag!
How to Diagnose an Air Duct Leak
Determining whether air duct leaks are a problem in your home can be difficult, especially when you consider that much of your home’s ductwork is hidden behind walls. Still, there are several “red flags” you can watch out for that may indicate the presence of air duct leaks in your home, such as:
- a sudden or gradual increase in energy bills
- inconsistent heating/cooling (some rooms are colder/warmer than others)
- noticeable increase in dust throughout your home
If there are visible areas of ductwork (such as in your basement or attic), there are also some things you can do to check for leaks. Start with a visual inspection to look for obvious tears or other damage. Pay careful attention to duct joints, which are areas where two sections of ductwork are joined together.
You’ll also want to be on the lookout for signs of patched ductwork from previous homeowners. For example, if you notice that there is duct tape wrapped around a section of ductwork, this is probably a sign that the duct had an air leak in the past and was not properly repaired.
What to Do About an Air Duct Leak
If you believe your home has air duct leaks, you’ll want to repair them as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll continue to throw money out the window each month with high heating bills.
Generally, it’s best to leave air duct leak repairs to an HVAC professional. Not only will an experienced HVAC specialist be able to pinpoint the exact locations of leaks throughout your home, but he or she will also be able to repair them properly. Using specialized metallic tapes and sealants, it is possible to repair most air duct leaks in a way that will last.
Likewise, if it is discovered that any of your home’s air ducts have fallen out of alignment, this is something that an HVAC professional will be able to assist with. Once everything is sealed back up and aligned properly, you can rest assured that both cool and warm air will be carried efficiently throughout your home with minimal temperature loss and proper air pressure. This, in turn, should lead to lower energy bills, a more comfortable living space, and improved overall indoor air quality for everybody in your household!
Schedule an Appointment With One Stop Heating & Cooling
Ready to have an HVAC specialist check your home’s air ducts for leaks? Need air duct leaks patched or repaired? Our team at One Stop Heating & Cooling is here to help. We proudly serve Phoenix and the surrounding areas with a wide range of HVAC services that include air duct repair. Our goal is to help you maximize energy efficiency in your home by detecting and sealing off leaks. We can also assist with correcting air pressure imbalances within your system.
Reach out to our friendly team at (623) 688-6556 to schedule your appointment or to find out more about what we can do for you!