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Leaks in Your Ductwork?

by Daniel Estevao on April 27, 2016

Leaks in Your Air Ducts

When you started your HVAC for the first time this spring, did you notice that it wasn’t running as efficiently? Is it taking longer to cool your home than in the past? Are there rooms or areas that don’t seem to cool at all? The problem may not be your HVAC. You might be dealing with leaks in your ductwork.

With highs already in the 80’s, it’s important that your forced air system is working at maximum efficiency for your health and comfort. There are probably areas in your home, like the attic or basement, where exposed ductwork is visible. But that is only a small percentage of the ducts that distribute the forced air from your HVAC. Ductwork actually resides throughout your home – hiding behind walls and underneath the floors. It offers an intricate passageway for the conditioned, circulated air to cool off the entire home.

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A technician examines the ductwork of a homeowner.

The majority of homes with an HVAC system have one of three types of air ducts: sheet metal, insulated flexible or insulated duct board. The flexible material is the most common in modern homes, but it is not as energy-efficient and is easily damaged. This is why leaks have become more common in recent years. Sometimes ducts are damaged through age or everyday use which can result in small cracks or holes in the material. This will waste a lot of the forced air; allowing it to escape before cooling the home. These leaks will cause your HVAC system to work harder and longer – ensuring higher utility bills and compromised comfort for your household.

If these leaks are not fixed, the openings will only get larger, causing even higher electric bills – and eventually problems with your HVAC system. To avoid an unnecessary repair bill or the expensive cost of replacement, read through the following lists before calling a professional.

Signs of leaky ductwork:

  • Escalating utility bills in summer and winter
  • Rooms and areas that are difficult to cool (or heat)
  • Stuffy, uncomfortable rooms
  • Consistently clogged air filters
  • Flexible ducts that are dented/damaged
  • Ceilings and vents that are discolored or dirty
  • High accumulation of dust from return ducts

Reasons for leaky ductwork:

  • Older homes with an old/original ductwork system
  • Closing off of vents, trapping air in ductwork
  • Bad installation
  • Rodent damage
  • Connections in the ductwork that are loose
  • Bad repair work
  • Inefficient insulation

If you feel that your ductwork might be the cause of your current HVAC problems, calling a professional would be your best line of defense. Depending on the type of leak, you might be able to tackle a repair on your own. But unless the problem is occurring with ductwork that is exposed, you are risking considerable structural damage (including the walls and floors) of your home.

Pacific Air Systems uses Aeroseal Duct Diagnostics & Sealing to find and fix duct leaks. It’s a non-invasive system that uses computer diagnostics to identify possible leaks by measuring pressure loss. After the areas are detected, a sealant is pushed into the ventilation system that seeks out and plugs the leaks from the inside. Aeroseal is a quick and effective method of dealing with leaks – even in the tough-to-reach areas!

If you’d like to learn more about our Aeroseal system, contact us today at 253-292-3995 for a service call!

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