Finding Problems With Your Air Ducs
After a super cold winter, a really wet spring, and then a humid summer, have you noticed your home isn’t evenly cool or warm? Is one room cooler than the others, or perhaps not as cool? It may be time to have your home air duct sealing checked.
Why is getting home air duct sealing checked so important? Well, when air ducts aren’t properly sealed, the air isn’t distributed evenly. So what happens is this – one person is cold and adjusts the thermostat, but in another room, it is stuffy and warm, so the thermostat is adjusted again. This back and forth with the thermostat is causing two issues:
1). Wear and tear on the HVAC system
2). Increases in your energy bill
You don’t have to pay a service to check your home air duct sealing though; you can do it yourself if you don’t mind climbing up into the attic. Put on gloves and goggles, wear long sleeves and pants, and with a roll of air duct sealer, you can do your own air duct repair and sealing while you’re checking the air ducts.
How do I find a leak in my air duct?
There are holes, tears, and poor connections in an average home’s air duct system. You would be hard-pressed to find a home, other than a brand new build or one with a brand new HVAC system, that didn’t have one or all of these issues. That is because up to 30% of the air circulating in your home is wasted. If you’re thinking, “not in my home”, then pause and tell us if you have noticed any of the following:
- Cooling and heating are uneven
- Energy usage is the same, but bills are higher
- Rooms are dustier than normal and stuffy
- Some of the air ductwork is in an enclosed area
- Some of the air ductwork is kinked or twisted
- You can hear air escaping from the ductwork
If you think your home air duct sealing is in need of attention, here is how you identify the problem:
- Inspect the entire air duct system for connection gaps, holes, kinks, tears, or twists. Don’t forget the attic and crawl spaces.
- If you know for sure you have heard air leaking or that there is a kink somewhere, make note of it and then check the rest of the system.
- Take stock of what you find; taking cell phone pictures is always a good backup.
Another thing you could do is hire a professional service that will provide home air duct cleaning service. This will include air duct cleaning and sealing and come with a warranty.
What do you use to seal ductwork?
Now that you have found some gaps, holes, or tears, how do you fix them? Well, there are a couple of different methods for home air duct sealing:
- Duct Sealing Tape
What kind of tape do you use for ductwork? Yes, there is HVAC duct sealing tape – you may have heard it referred to as aluminum foil tape. It comes in a large roll and is found in most hardware stores and home improvement stores. This is the easiest and neatest way to get your home air duct sealing done. However, it isn’t known for longevity or performance. If your air ducts are dirty or oily, this tape won’t stick well. Try a butyl tape instead, but never use everyday duct tape because of fire ratings.
- Mastic Duct Sealant
Mastic air duct sealant tape is a gooey substance that hardens after it is applied to the air ducts. Because this is a water-based sealant, it will clean up easier and hold up longer. It can be applied with a paintbrush or caulking gun. Note that it is intended for outdoor use, and not the air ducts inside your attic.
- Aeroseal Duct Sealant
Mastic air duct sealant is not the easiest to use when the leak is behind a wall. For those hard to reach areas, there is aerosol duct sealant. This uses patented technology for pressurizing, identifying, and home air duct sealing every single leak within the air duct system.
How long does duct sealant take to dry?
Read and follow the instructions that come with the sealant for the best results. Mastic will need to be allowed to dry and cure for 48 to 72 hours before turning the air back on.
How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?
Purchasing a dehumidifier will minimize the condensation. Make sure all air ducts are unblocked and nothing is restricting airflow. Keep the air filter changed every 30 days and the air returns cleaned once a month.
Time to Go Professional
A professional home air duct cleaning service will do your air duct sealing from the inside using special equipment and technology. This will get you the best results for a longer period of time. If you’re looking for help with your air ducts, contact the Mission Critical Comfort Solutions team today at 478-960-5825.