duct sealingCooling your Houston home over the course of the long, hot summer is a major expense, and conserving energy is probably one of your main priorities during the cooling season. The typical home may lose up to 40 percent of conditioned air through leaky ducks, and according to the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), that leakage can add hundreds of dollars to your energy bill. Duct sealing is essential for efficient cooling in your home.

Signs of Leaky Ductwork

There are several telltale signs that your ducts are leaking air:

  • Your energy bills are considerably higher than they should be.
  • Some rooms are stuffy or difficult to cool and heat.
  • Your home has ductwork that runs through unconditioned attics, crawl spaces or the garage.
  • Your ducts show signs of age, wear or loose joints.

If you suspect the ducts in your home are in need of serious repairs, an HVAC professional can conduct a blower door test to thoroughly and accurately detect leaks and repair them.

How to Seal Ducts

Visually inspect all of the exposed ductwork for obvious leaks, including loose joints or gaps between duct sections, holes, gaps between seams and loose connection between the ducts and the registers, as well as around your indoor unit.

The best way to seal ducts is to use mastic duct sealant. However, gaps larger than 1/4 inch need to be covered with a UL-listed heat-resistant tape, such as butyl or foil tape. Never use duct tape, which deteriorates quickly.

>Insulation Is Critical

Insulate ducts that run through unconditioned areas to prevent the air inside from warming up as it travels through these spaces, which can increase energy consumption by up to 30 percent.  Insulation will also help prevent condensation that can cause mold growth and compromise indoor air quality.

For more expert advice about duct sealing, or to schedule an energy audit with one of our skilled technicians, please feel free to contact us in the Houston area at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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