There are certain home maintenance projects you plan to complete every year. If you have central heating and air conditioning, chances are you have a technician come out for an annual service call. That’s great. Your system will work better and last longer that way.
Did you know there was something else you could do to ensure that your home stays as cool as possible this summer? Duct sealing is a lesser-known process that can make your HVAC work better. Keep reading to learn what this method is and the five surprising benefits it can give you.
What Is Duct Sealing?
Duct sealing is a process that seals any cracks or holes in your ductwork to prevent air from escaping. There are two ways of doing this. The first is mastic sealing, which is inefficient and ineffective. The second is aero-sealing. This method has better results when applied in both old and new homes.
1. Lower Your Energy Bills
When your ducts are properly sealed, cooled and heated air will stay inside your home. When air is delivered without leaking away, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. This means you spend less money on the same comfort in the winter or summer.
That’s not all! When your heating and air conditioning systems work under less strain, they last longer. Have your ducts sealed, and increase the lifespan of your HVAC system.
2. The Evaporator Coil Stays Clean
A return is a duct that brings air back into your crawlspace. It also brings back dust and other particles. These can land on your evaporator coil, which does more than create a dirty mess.
When you run your air conditioner, that coil gets and stays wet. The combination of a damp evaporator coil and dirt and particulates from the air creates a microbial party zone. Not only does that smell awful, but it’s also not something you want to breathe in.
If you have a good air filter, that can help. It will catch many of the particulates before they reach the coil. However, it won’t block all of them. Air can make it around a loose-fitting furnace filter.
The best option is to seal your ducts tight. This will stop dirt and grime from entering the ducts and passing the filter to the coil.
To get the best results, have your ducts sanitized and sealed. Make sure also to clean your evaporator coil. That will fix the problem now and prevent it from happening in the future.
3. Efficient Air Delivery and Better Comfort
We’ve already mentioned system longevity and lower bills. Efficient air delivery and better comfort are directly linked to those benefits. When you seal your ductwork, your system delivers air to the rooms in your home that need it.
Your air conditioning unit might cool the air perfectly on a hot summer day. That’s not very helpful if all of that conditioned air doesn’t reach your office or living room. Instead, a portion of that air is leaking out before it ever gets to you.
Have you ever found yourself turning down the thermostat because it just isn’t cool enough? That discomfort could be due to the loss of cold air through leaky ductwork. If that problem is fixed, you may be able to stop turning down your thermostat.
4. A Full Ductwork Inspection
When a technician comes out to seal your ductwork, they will take a close look at them. They need to understand the layout of your system and identify any issues before they can begin.
When they do this, they may find other issues in addition to leaky ducts. Here are some common problems that duct sealing technicians might come across:
- Vents with missing or defective insulation
- Poorly designed ductwork that fails to move air efficiently.
- Returns and supplies plenums that are too small to be effective.
- Damaged, sagging, disconnected, or otherwise damaged ductwork.
A trusted professional will know what to look for in your ductwork; they can identify where the leaks are and point out other problems that may exist. Issues with ductwork can impact your quality of life, environmental footprint, and utility bills. It’s essential to learn about these issues early.
In some cases, it may be possible that other problems exist that need to be repaired before your vents can be sealed. For example, it doesn’t help to seal a dented duct that doesn’t have any insulation. A professional inspection can help you understand the fixes you need to make and in what order you need to make them.
5. Cleaner Air to Breathe
Any leaks in the ductwork that carries air from your return will bring dirty air into your heating and air conditioning units. This contaminated air eventually reaches the rooms in your home.
In some homes, the air handler or blower may be in the attic or crawl space. If your return is leaky, that musty, dusty air will blow back into your living areas. As you can imagine, that type of air is not what you want to breathe in regularly.
Many people may not realize that there’s another way leaky ducts can impact air quality. Leaky ducts can reduce the airflow to rooms in your home, leading to an adverse pressure condition. Such a situation can cause more air from the outside to enter your home. If that air has high levels of dust, pollen, dirt, and other pollutants, that can be a problem.
Imagine dealing with these issues—dirty air from your attic and discomfort from poor temperature control. If you have your ducts sealed, you can eliminate all of these problems.
Final Thoughts: Duct Sealing Is a Long-Term Solution
Good news! Duct sealing isn’t something you’ll have to do every year. The aero-sealing process can last for ten years, even under stressful conditions. Get this done once, and you may not have to think about it again for a long while. That’s a pretty good return on your investment!