How Ductwork Leaks Affect Your Comfort Level

leaky ductworkBy wasting your conditioned air, ductwork leaks make it harder to keep your home cool in the hot Los Angeles area summers and ward off the winter chill. Sealing these leaks will not only keep you more comfortable, but also protect your health and lower your energy bills.

Lost Air Means Lost Comfort

In the average home, the HVAC ductwork leaks around 20 percent of the conditioned air that’s cooled or heated by the air handler. That means less cool or warm air reaches your rooms, making it harder to maintain your preferred temperatures. To make matters worse, your indoor air is likely to feel stuffy and stale due to lack of airflow.

When you’re hot or chilly, you’ll be tempted to adjust the thermostat to compensate, needlessly running up your energy bills. Because ductwork leaks can draw dust, pollen, and other air pollutants in from your attic and basement, they pose a risk to your health, too. As air escapes from your ducts into your unconditioned attic or basement, it can cause moisture problems that lead to mold growth. If that happens, both your home and your health suffer.

Stop the Leaks

Larger leaks in your ducts are fairly easy to take care of yourself. Inspect your exposed ductwork for gaps anywhere two lengths of duct meet as well as where the ductwork connects with the air handler and the supply registers. If you find a deteriorating seal or no seal at all, seal the gap with mastic or foil-backed, heat-safe tape. Check over your fiberglass ductboard and flexduct for cracks and holes. Damaged flexduct is best replaced, but you can cover small holes in ductboard with foil-backed tape. For any hole larger than 1/8 inch, cover the damage with mesh mastic tape first.

Leaks can also form in the ducts you can’t reach yourself, so for help bringing air leakage down to a minimum, call in an HVAC technician.

If you suspect duckwork leaks are making your home less comfortable, contact us at Reliance Home Services anywhere in the Los Angeles area.