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  • Writer's pictureBenison Services

Improve HVAC Efficiency: Is Air Duct Sealing Worth It?

Keeping Your Ducts Safe


Is your sunny California home’s air conditioning ready for the summer?!  Now is the time to make sure and get it ready, including air duct sealing.  If your home has an HVAC system that cools and heats your home, then you have air ducts. These create a roadway for the cooled or heated air to get from the mechanical part of the system to the rest of the house by distributing the air through what should be air-tight tubing.

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t realize what condition the ductwork in their home is currently, meaning, it is leaking cooled or heated air into the attic. The cooled or heated air in the attic is a waste because that isn’t where you’re living! 

Okay, so you had duct leak testing done and there were some small leaks, but does that really matter?  Maybe not to the comfort level in the living areas of your home, but when that electric or gas bill comes next month, air duct sealing may sound like a good idea.


What is air duct sealing?  


Air duct sealing is how cracks, holes, and loose connections are eliminated in your home’s air duct system. This process reduces the amount of dust in your home, and airborne germs, and will make your HVAC system more efficient, which is a money saver! 


How do I know if my air ducts are leaking, how do you check for leaky air ducts?


As much as 25% of cooled or heated air from your HVAC system is probably getting lost through air duct leaks. That is ¼ of the air you’re paying to make your home comfortable being wasted. So, how do you know if your home has air duct leaks? 

Well, there are professional air duct leak testing companies that will give you the best accurate analysis by using specialized equipment. If you’re not ready to spend that money right now (because your energy bills are taking all of your money), you can do the following: 


  • Do a visual inspection of all ductwork by going into the attic, basement, or crawlspace and examining the visible air ducts. Check each connection and section for gaps, disconnections, holes, and tears. 

  • Turn the HVAC system on and go back to the attic, basement, or crawlspace and place your hand over the metal. If you can feel the air, there is a loose connection and an air leak. This is common at any of the joints. 

  • While the HVAC system is turned on, carry an incense stick along the air ducts and if there is any movement of the smoke, then there is an air leak in the duct system. 


Can you use silicone to seal air ducts?


Yes, you want to use an aluminum-colored silicone caulk. So, how do you seal air ducts? After cleaning the surface of the joints and areas needing air duct sealing with a basic household cleaner and a clean rag, this is an easy DIY project that won’t cost much. 

You want to remove any boots and old air duct sealing material and wrap each section of the air ducts with high-temperature aluminum foil tape. Do not use basic household duct tape. It is not for air duct sealing! 


How long does an air duct seal last?

The average life of air duct sealing is a maximum of 15 years. Professional air duct leak testing is recommended every 3 to 5 years, then annually after the 10th year. A professionally done air duct sealing job should last until the entire duct system needs to be replaced. 


How does sealing ducts improve indoor air quality?


Air duct sealing will improve your home’s indoor air quality by reducing the pollutants that can enter the air ducts from the dusty attic, basement, or crawlspace. Once that dust is in the air ducts, it circulates through the home along with insulation dust particles and the smell of a damp attic or basement that can irritate a family member’s breathing. 


What does duct sealing do for my air conditioner?

It keeps the cooled air inside the duct system so that it is cooling your home’s interior, not the attic, basement, or crawl space. When the cooled air is kept in the ducts, the HVAC system isn’t having to work as hard to maintain the desired temperature, thus it is using less electricity. 


In Closing – The Bottom Dollar

How much can sealing air ducts save you? Leaky air ducts reduce the efficiency of cooling and heating by 20 percent or more. With the cost of energy increasing every year, this can add up to $100s over one summer. In addition to the energy savings, the money you’ll save from fewer doctor visits and medications for breathing and other health issues will add up too!  

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