Ductwork systems are out of sight, and, as a result, they homeowners often forget all about them. This is unfortunate since no other home-comfort system has a greater impact on your comfort and your home's energy efficiency. Many components contribute to the efficiency and comfort of your home (heating and cooling system, insulation, sealing, ventilation and indoor-air quality). But each of those components is dependent upon ductwork for delivering maximum energy savings and comfort to you and your loved ones.
Statistics show that the average home loses as much as 20 percent of its heat energy because of leaky ductwork, and a heating and cooling unit blowing conditioned air through this inefficient ductwork must work as much as 50 percent harder to make up the difference. Add in another 60 percent of heat energy lost to poorly insulated ductwork in unconditioned spaces, and your utility bills will skyrocket fast.
Symptoms of inefficient ductwork
Uneven air pressure and temperatures from room to room are signs of obstructions, loose joints and poor duct design. Loud noises and rattling from the air-supply registers, and frequent powering on and off of your heating and cooling system, are symptoms of poor supply and return airflow. If your system experiences any of these symptoms, it’s time to call a professional.
It may be tempting to diagnose and try duct sealing yourself. Some repairs are not difficult. However, if you spot one loose joint, there's a good chance that other problems exist throughout your system, especially for older systems. Inevitably, as ductwork ages, duct joints are going to loosen and become leaky. You should consider scheduling a service call with a professional HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) expert, who will do the following and more:
- Inspect all ductwork throughout your home, including the attic, basement, crawl spaces and garage
- Inspect all air-supply registers and return grilles, seal loose connections, and measure airflow
- Seal all leaks, holes and damage to ducts
- Insulate ductwork in unconditioned spaces
- Inspect gas appliances for back-drafting
Duct sealing and repair is a serious undertaking with potentially substantial rewards, if done right. For Mid-Ohio homeowners, contact Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. and schedule a service call.