Tag Archives: ducts

Checking Your Ductwork for Air Leakages

Ductwork leakages are one of the most common causes of energy loss and poor air conditioning and heater performance. This is a simple fix that you can do yourself and solve the issue of air leaks if you know what to look for and can do a simple test to find the
leaks in your ducts. In this article, we will look at the steps it will take to discover whether you have any leaks and what it will take to fix your leaks. Correcting leaks will be very beneficial to the performance of your air conditioner and also your heating unit. Once you discover the leaks, you can do what you need to do to repair the leaks.

Discover your leaks.

The first thing you will need to do is to check to see if your unit is running. Locate the access to your attic. When you enter your attic, be sure to step only on your ceiling joists or lay plywood down to walk on. The first place to feel for air leaks is where the air ducts first begin to come out of the plenum of your air conditioner. The plenum is the huge bow that is setting on top of your cooling coil. Feel around each duct that is coming out of the plenum. You can feel the air on your hand if you have leaks around the ductwork. Make a note of each leak that you find. The next place to check is at each joint of the ductwork. The number of joints can be different depending on the type of ductwork you have. If you have metal ductwork, you will probably have a joint at least every 10 feet depending on the length of your ducts. If you have foil ductwork, you will not have as many joints, but this type of duct work could develop tears along the lengths of ductwork. Feel around each joint to see if you feel air escaping. Also, inspect the whole length of duct work for any additional holes. The last place you need to check will be where the ductwork attaches to the air vent boxes. Remember to mark or note each place that you feel air escaping the ducts.

Repairing your air leaks.

There are a couple of ways to repair your leaks. One of the easiest and least expensive ways is to purchase a roll of duct tape and place it around the spots where your air is escaping. Although this is a simple fix, it is not one that will last for a long time. The heat in your attic will eventually dry out your duct tape causing it to become brittle and crack. If you have foil ducts, this may be the best way to repair the leaks and holes that may have developed in your ducts. You may have to remove some of the insulation to get to the spot that is leaking. Be sure to replace your insulation. If you have metal ducts, the best way to repair the leaks is by using a mastic sealant. This sealant can be purchased at your local building supplies store. You can take a regular paint brush and brush the mastic over any leaks you may have. When the mastic dries it will become hard and seal off any leaks that you have in your duct work. You may also have to remove some of your insulation to properly apply the mastic sealant. This is the recommended method of leakage repair because it will last much longer than duct tape.

If you cannot perform this procedure yourself, you need to hire a professional to do it for you. This is a simple and inexpensive method that will help to bring your air conditioning and heating units back to peak performance. Get this done now before it costs you more in energy costs.

What’s In Your Attic?

Time to Investigate

Do you know what is in your attic? The best time to climb into your attic to investigate is during the  winter months. You will find that the unconditioned attic’s temperature will be what's in your atticmore bearable during winter than it will ever be during the summer months.

What You Might Find

If your home is built on a concrete pad foundation, you are going to find your heating and air ductwork in the attic. Ductwork is the veins and arteries of the air flow system that provides heated or cooled air to the living space in your home.  Ductwork is sealed and is most likely wrapped in insulation in your attic. In older homes, ductwork can leak causing warm or cold air to escape into the attic before it reaches your living space.  If your unit is working properly, but you are having issues heating or cooling your home, leaky ductwork may be the culprit.

Attic Invasions

A common cause of leaky ductwork is attic invasion. If you are hearing noises in your attic and your home’s temperature is not comfortable, you might have unwanted and uninvited guests living up there. Squirrels and raccoons are common attic invaders. Squirrels most often enter from the roofline during the end of winter to build new nests. They are known to damage ductwork and electrical wiring. However, the raccoons tend to wreak much more havoc by destroying insulation and all of the ductwork. These invaders must be removed by trapping and physically removing them, and then the damaged ductwork must be repaired by trained technicians.

Invasion Prevention

January is the time for pest prevention in your attic. You should check for entry points and close them off with wire.  Uncovered vents of any kind on the roof are perfect access points for squirrels. Wire is the best deterrent because the varmints cannot chew through it to make their own way inside. Once you have your attic pest-proof, you will be able to rest comfortably knowing that your ductwork and electrical wiring is safe.