The EPA estimates that in the average home, 20 percent of the conditioned air that is produced by furnaces and air conditioners is lost through leaks in the home’s ductwork. Duct leaks are extremely common in Bay Area homes, and they can play a big role in how comfortable, efficient and healthy your home is. Today we’re going to talk about how air duct leaks can develop, the effects they have on your home and what you can do to seal them up!
How do air duct leaks develop?
One explanation behind air duct leaks is that the ductwork was not installed properly to begin with. For example, you might have ducts that were not connected properly and the gaps caused by those loose connections can allow air to escape. In addition, a low-quality contractor might puncture one or more of your ducts during the installation process.
Air duct leaks can also develop naturally over time. During your home’s heating and cooling cycles, the temperature inside of your ductwork heats up and cools down. This causes your ducts to expand and contract. Over time, all of this repeated expanding and contracting can cause connections to loosen up or cracks and holes to develop.
What are the effects of air duct leaks?
- High energy bills. When conditioned air escapes from your ductwork, the money that you spend on heating or cooling that air is wasted. In addition, your system will have to work harder and longer to make up for that loss of conditioned air. As a result, your heating and cooling bills will be much higher than they should be.
- System breakdowns. Another side effect of your system working overtime is that it adds to the amount of stress and wear-and-tear that your furnace and air conditioner undergo. This greatly increases the likelihood of your system breaking down and needing repairs.
- Uneven heating and cooling. Depending on where your air duct leaks are, some rooms in your home might be perfectly comfortable while others do not ever received an adequate amount of conditioned air. These can cause uneven temperature levels in your home.
- Poor air quality. The problem with air duct leaks isn’t just that they allow conditioned air to escape; they also allow unconditioned and unfiltered air to seep into your ductwork. This will increase the amount of dust and other airborne particles that are present in your home’s air, which will impair your home’s air quality and cause your filter to clog up quickly.
How can you get rid of air duct leaks?
The best way to get rid of air duct leaks is to have your ductwork professionally inspected and sealed. Contact Cabrillo to learn about how duct sealing can improve your home’s comfort and efficiency levels!
If you have any questions about air duct leaks, or if you’d like a heating and cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.