An effective energy efficiency strategy should involve all home systems. A home’s cooling, heating, lighting and building envelope generally get a lot of attention. Aerators and low-flow shower heads are popular features, too. For maximum energy savings and comfort, though, it’s important to go behind the scenes with professional duct maintenance.
Benefits of Duct Maintenance
Ducts are generally located out of sight in the basement or attic, which means they’re easy to forget about. Ignoring the air ducts results in up to 20 percent or more cooling and heating losses in the average home, according to the Energy Star program. Leaky air ducts cause uneven temperatures room to room. Leaky ductwork can also waste energy on heating and cooling areas outside the living spaces such as the crawl space or attic. Maintaining the ductwork system can ensure greater energy savings and comfort in your home.
Visual and mechanical methods are used to inspect ductwork. The visual inspection your HVAC professional performs locates more obvious duct leaks, damaged portions and missing insulation. Mechanical methods for locating smaller leaks and testing air pressure include a duct blaster and flow hood test.
The duct blaster pressurizes ducts to force air through tiny leaks. The flow hood test measures air pressure at the supply outlets. Additionally, your ductwork may be inspected for cleanliness if you’re having indoor air quality issues or if the ductwork hasn’t been cleaned in several years.
Professional Duct Repair
Air ducts are generally fabricated from thin sheet metal, fiberglass board, and/or flexible insulated ductwork. HVAC industry approved materials must be used to impermeably seal duct joints, boots and outlets. If shortcuts are taken, duct seams loosen and fall away, and your energy dollars are wasted in the unconditioned spaces of your home. In older homes the ductwork may begin to breakdown from the elements and/or age and should be inspected regularly for damage.
Following are some typical duct repair techniques incorporated by your HVAC tech:
- Damaged ducts are repaired and duct insulation is inspected if present.
- Mastic paste and heat-resistant tape are used to seal duct leaks.
- Insulation is added where it’s missing or damaged.
- Leak detection tests and airflow pressure are performed again for quality assurance.
- Newer ductwork designs provide higher insulation values and reduce energy costs so check the cost of repairs versus replacement if you home is over 20 years old.
To learn more about the importance and benefits of professional duct maintenance, contact the experts at Powers Heating & Air. We serve residents in the Fayette and Coweta Counties including the communities of Peachtree City, Newnan, Fayetteville, Sharpsburg, Senoia and Tyrone.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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