With winter in full swing, it’s important to maintain your home’s heating system and ductwork. In houses that rely on forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts circulate conditioned air. Yet, a fifth of that air is generally lost through leaky ductwork, leading to higher energy bills and an uncomfortable home. How can you recognise whether this is a problem in your home, and what can you do about it?
There are several key signs of poorly sealed ductwork, including:
- Higher utility bills;
- Difficulty heating or cooling rooms;
- Stuffy or poor air quality;
- Tangled ducts; and
- Ductwork in uninsulated spaces, such as crawlspaces or garages.
Why Seal Ducts?
Once you recognize the symptoms, it’s important to maintain tight ductwork for many reasons, most obviously comfort. Particularly during the cold, winter months, well-sealed ducts make it easier to maintain a comfortable, energy-efficient home. In addition, tight ductwork improves:
- Health: Well-sealed ductwork improves indoor air quality and decreases the danger of household chemicals, insulation or dust entering ducts and contributing to asthma or allergy problems.
- Safety: Maintaining tight ductwork also prevents backdraft of emissions from water heaters, dryers, furnaces and other gas-fueled appliances.
- Cost: Reducing duct leaks allows more conditioned air to arrive at its destination, the rooms in your home. This improves your heating and cooling system’s efficiency and decreases utility bills. For new systems, well-designed and sealed ducts can decrease the size of required equipment.
Maintaining or repairing ductwork can be quite difficult since ducts often run through walls, ceilings, attics and other inconvenient spaces. Here are some of the required steps:
- Seal leaks with metal tape or mastic sealant;
- Insulate ducts that run through uninsulated spaces; and
- Ensure all connections at vents and registers are well-sealed.
Although these tips can make the most of your home’s ductwork, the best way to maintain, improve and even clean your system is to work with a trusted, skilled contractor. For professional help and for more expert advice on maintaining your home heating system this winter, please contact us at Reliance Home Comfort.