Heating and cooling systems are a quintessential part of a comfortable home experience. Regardless of how extreme the weather is, a high-quality system will ensure perfect climate control at the touch of a finger. Of course, leaks and air loss are an ever-present risk to the energy efficiency of your home.
The best way to tell whether you have leaking air ducts is to hire a specialist to run a duct system test. This process involves sealing off all the vents in the home and pressurizing the system. Once the HVAC unit is pressurized, leaks can be pinpointed, and potential air duct sealing, repairs or replacement will be recommended.
There may be other telltale signs that the ductwork in your home is leaking. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the five best ways to detect potential leaks. If you suspect you have a hole in your air ducts or need an expert to repair your pipes, feel free to give us a call at (844) 468-7244 today. USA Home Improvement is a leading provider of home improvement and repair services.
How to Tell if Your Air Ducts Are Leaking
Higher than Normal Energy Bills
Heating and cooling bills are already one of the most substantial energy expenses associated with single-family homes. Those bills will only rise in price if there are leaks in the ductwork. Depending on the size and quantity of the holes, you may be paying hundreds of additional dollars each year in energy bills.
When your ductwork has leaks, your HVAC system has to work hard to maintain the internal temperature of your home. This problem is compounded during extreme heat or cold when energy usage is already higher. Because a significant percentage of the airflow is lost to leaks, the HVAC system must compensate for the shortcomings, which leads to higher amounts of energy usage and higher bills.
Low Air Quality
According to Energy Star, “more than half of new systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation.” Faulty installation can lead to demonstrably lower indoor air quality and poor air circulation. That’s because airborne particulates, such as dust and allergens, are not filtered out of the home as efficiently.
Reduced air quality can also go hand in hand with back-drafting. This phenomenon occurs when gas-powered appliances, such as water heaters and furnaces, can’t adequately disperse their fumes to the outdoors. As a result, the fumes are pulled back into the home, which dramatically increases health risks to you and your loved ones.
Get a Live HVAC System Monitor
Get instant feedback about your air ducts with a live monitoring system. These systems allow users to determine when and where to make potential repairs. The immediacy ensures homeowners can have maximum airflow efficiency while minimizing air duct leaks.
The variety of HVAC system monitors on the market is endless, with prices ranging from just over $100 to well over $1,000. Depending on the make and model of the unit, users can get a live look at everything from the quality of their airflow and insulation to total pressure. With built-in alarms to signal potential problems, an HVAC system monitor allows homeowners to make the most informed decision possible when addressing an air duct leak.
Use a Smoke Machine
While smoking is terrible for your health, it is an excellent way to detect a leaking air duct. All you need to do is connect the smoke machine to your ductwork and activate it. Once a connection is secured, the smoke will roll through your air ducts and out of any existing holes.
The same effect is possible with a smoke pencil. The pencil emits a stream of smoke that will blow sideways or twirl once placed near an air duct leak. All users simply walk the length of their ductwork with the pencil to find the potential leaks.
Reseal Leaks You Have Found So Far
Just because you have sealed a leak in the past, doesn’t mean it can’t reopen. One of the easy ways to find and fix air loss is to reseal your existing repairs. That means using durable materials and not duct tape.
Mastic tape is a capable sealant that professionals use to neutralize holes in air ducts. You can apply the tape by hand or with a paintbrush. You can also use duct sealant, which produces a thick paint-like substance that can fill up any holes you may have.
Finding the Right Company
At USA Home Improvement, we are committed to helping you get the most out of your heating and cooling system. With these signs of potential leakage, our goal is to give you the knowledge and insight you need to determine when and where you need to make air duct repairs.
If you have any questions or need your ductwork inspected, call us at (844) 468-7244 or visit us in Fort Lauderdale today. We look forward to helping you make your home safer and more efficient.