Why should you get your ductwork inspected?
Did you know that your HVAC system could be wasting your money? Efficiency studies have shown that up to 30% of heated or cooled air is wasted due to ductwork leaks. In addition to costing money, duct leaks can lead to bad air quality, depressurization, and lowered comfort levels for your building’s occupants. Properly inspecting and sealing ductwork can lower this wasted air to less than 5%, and greatly improve indoor air quality.
The best way to keep your HVAC system running efficiently is to get your air ducts regularly inspected by a qualified HVAC professional. Over time, ductwork seals loosen, tape comes loose, and dirt and debris makes its way into the system, further damaging the system. Odd noises, uneven airflow or temperatures, musty smells, or high energy bills are all signs that there’s something going on with your ductwork, and that it needs to be inspected.
In addition to wasting money, improperly sealed ductwork can potentially have a hugely detrimental effect on your occupants’ health. Dirty, unconditioned air is released into the building, potentially introducing a whole host of molds, microbes, and even radon gas into the building. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has stated that ductwork leakage is a measurable contributor to lung cancer and respiratory illnesses.
When performing an inspection of your ductwork, we will start with the connection points, pinpointing air leaks, holes, and tape that has come loose. Leaks will be checked, measured, and identified with diagnostic equipment. Leaks and connections will then be sealed with metal tape, mastic, or an aerosol-based sealant. If there are disconnected, undersized, or damaged ducts, we will repair or replace those, as well as straighten out any flexible ducts that are crushed or tangled. All registers and grills will be sealed tightly to ductwork, and ductwork in unconditioned areas will be insulated. After sealing ducts, airflow will be tested, and a new media filter will be installed to improve indoor air quality, and to keep the system clean.
If you have a simple leak, you’d think that you can patch it up with regular silver duct tape, right? Wrong. The type of duct tape commonly found in retail stores is not strong enough to hold up to temperature extremes, and will deteriorate over time. Instead, it is recommended to patch leaks with mastic, butyl-backed tape, or oriented polypropylene tape. This is the only way to properly seal joint components and other areas prone to duct leakage.
In addition to periodically getting your ducts cleaned and serviced, there are other preventative maintenance steps you can take in order to keep your HVAC system running at its most efficient. In order to prevent dirt from entering the system, we recommend that you change filters regularly, and use the highest-efficiency air filter recommended by the system’s manufacturer. Ensure that all filters are in place, and that air is not able to bypass the filter due to gaps around the outside.
Do you have any tips for maintaining your building’s ductwork? We’d love to hear them! Leave us a comment below. If you’d rather schedule an inspection, contact us. We’re ready to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system!