Tight Ductwork: It Really Does Keep You Warmer and Cooler as Needed
A tight ductwork system is important to prevent heat energy losses from air leaks and conduction through duct walls. If your home has uneven heating and high energy bills, it could be a duct issue, and not so much a heat pump or furnace issue. Here’s why.
Ductwork Affects Comfort, Pocketbook
Forced-air heating systems utilize air ducts to provide an efficient and unrestricted channel for heated airflow to travel. If ducts are leaky, uninsulated or obstructed, heating (and cooling) performance suffers, as does your home comfort and pocketbook. In fact, Energy.gov states that as much as 30 percent energy is wasted in the typical duct system.
These are some signs of problem ducts:
- Rattling and clamoring noises indicate loose duct connections.
- Uneven heating and cooling indicates airflow obstructions, disconnected duct seams and/or uninsulated ducts.
- Loud “swooshing” airflow likely means the ducts are too small, which affects comfort and efficiency and burdens the heating and cooling systems.
In home construction, air ducts are oftentimes installed for short-term install savings rather than long-term energy savings. Over time, faulty installation methods result in duct leaks, seam separations and perhaps other duct issues, including tangled flex ducts, damaged portions and/or collapsed ducts. These are basic steps your HVAC professional takes to evaluate and repair ducts (some you may perform yourself, if desired):
- A blower door test reveals the smallest of air leaks.
- Loose seams are sealed with sheet metal screws, mastic sealant and metal tape.
- Loose connections at air outlets are sealed with mastic, joint collars and metal tape.
- Uninsulated ducts are insulated with fiberglass rolls or rigid insulation board.
- Damaged duct portions are replaced.
- If there is a history of heating/cooling system issues and repairs, ducts should be evaluated for correct size. Modifications or new installation may be in order.
- For new heating and cooling system installation or replacement, ducts must be correctly sized to meet performance standards. This may mean installing new ductwork or making significant modifications to maximize the potential of high-efficiency heating/cooling systems.
For more details about tight ductwork in your Pasadena-area home, please contact Air-Tro, Inc. today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Monrovia, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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