If you want to improve household energy efficiency, the system of ducts that distributes conditioned air throughout your home is a good place to start. Performing duct maintenance to fix leaks, gaps or poor connections, and insulating the ductwork helps combat conditioned air losses that erode energy efficiency. If these issues haven’t been addressed, you may be losing up to one-third of your HVAC system’s output.
Maintaining the ducts properly not only improves HVAC system efficiency dramatically, but can also provide other tangible benefits. You’ll enjoy a more consistent temperature throughout the home with fewer hot or cold spots. Indoor air quality will get a boost as well, since contaminants and hazardous combustion fumes are no longer able to easily enter the home’s air supply.
How to Perform Duct Maintenance
Maintaining your ductwork involves identifying and sealing leaks and gaps with mastic sealant or metal-backed tape. Duct tape shouldn’t be used for sealing, as it doesn’t adhere well long-term. You should also install an insulated wrap on any accessible ducts in unconditioned areas. Additionally, it’s important to seal gaps between ducts and the registers, as these areas are prone to air leaks.
Another alternative is hiring an experienced HVAC professional to maintain the ducts. A pro will take all the above-mentioned steps and perform additional tasks to improve efficiency and safety, including:
- Fixing crumpled, damaged and/or disconnected ducts.
- Sealing duct joints and seams with fiberglass mesh and mastic.
- Wrapping the ducts in R-6 or R-8 insulation in all accessible areas including the basement, attic, crawl space and garage.
- Testing the air balance in the return and supply runs to uncover any sizing problems.
- Verifying airflow through the system after sealing is complete.
- Performing a combustion safety test to check for dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) back drafting from the water heater and furnace.
- Installing a new air filter to trap particles inside the ducts so they can’t infiltrate the HVAC system.
To learn more about improving energy efficiency in your Fort Collins home or to schedule professional duct maintenance, contacting the HVAC experts at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning.